On September 14, 2020, Chinese netizens discovered that Popin, a Japanese subsidiary of Chinese search engine company Baidu, had launched an cloud storage service called Dubox. This product may actually be an overseas version of Baidu Netdisk(百度网盘).
Baidu Netdisk asked for mobile phone numbers in mainland China around 2018, so foreign users couldn’t use the service. This may be why Baidu launched Dubox.
Dubox provides free storage space up to 1TB (1,024 GB), and there is no limit on upload and download speed at this stage. But it banned access from users in Chinese mainland areas, which caused controversy on Weibo.
Baidu Netdisk, a personal online storage service launched by Baidu in 2012, was known in the early days for its laissez-faire of pirated content and large free storage space. But in recent years, its reputation has declined.
On the one hand, with the upgrading of China’s intellectual property protection policy, most of the pirated content stored on Baidu Netdisk has been unilaterally deleted. On the other hand, although, Baidu Netdisk does not reduce the free users’ free space, it reduces the download speed of free users to less than 50kb/s.
This means that if you have stored a large amount of important materials (such as photos and home videos) on Baidu Netdisk, you will have to buy vip members of Baidu Netdisk to get them back. This strategy is rated as “kidnapping sales” by Chinese netizens.
Baidu Netdisk has argued that this is due to the high network costs generated by the online storage business. And they introduced a more flexible payment method in 2019, allowing users to pay separately for each download. This is very convenient for users who want to retrieve their data at once, said by Baidu Netdisk team.
Judging from the current model of Dubox, it adopts the same early strategy as Baidu Netdisk. Unlike Dropbox and Google Drive, it does not charge users for free space, but directly provides users with free free space (1TB) that is almost impossible to use up.
This means that in the future, it may limit the download speed, which can only be unlocked by buying subscription.
Currently, Dubox is available in web browser, Android and iPhone versions, but does not provide a desktop client. You can get App on their website.