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BusinessWeek: How Baidu “Won” China and Its Global Aspirations?

BusinessWeek published an article on Chinese search engine “Baidu,” how it “won” China and its global aspirations.

“Baidu holds a 73% market share in China. The company is worth $38 billion and is 57% larger than Yahoo!. Its shares have doubled in value since Google “withdrew” from China to Hong Kong earlier this year.”

The post contains a number of allegations, which Baidu denies, about unethical practices:

For years legions of advertisers have complained on Chinese Web forums that Baidu secretly penalizes the search rankings of websites that decrease their spending on Baidu[…]In 2008 the company quickly denied Internet chatter claiming it had taken money from Sanlu Group, a dairy producer that had sold milk powder tainted with the toxic chemical melamine, to keep the scandal out of search[…]

Baidu says it’s not a kingdom built on Internet piracy, though music companies say its popular MP3 service allows users to download just about any song ever recorded for free. The recording industry sued in 2005, but Chinese district and appeals courts sided with Baidu[…]

Censorship is also willingly practiced by the company:

Like all Chinese Web companies, and Google’s Chinese language site until this year, at the behest of Chinese government Baidu blocks pornography or references to topics such as Taiwanese independence, the Dalai Lama, and the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. The practice is called zi lu, or “self-discipline,” and Baidu does it well. Last year the company accepted one of 20 awards from the Internet Society of China, given for what the group calls “industry self-regulation.”

More Info: How Baidu won Chaina

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