Saturday, April 29, 2006

Now, Baidu got to be scared

The following is the translation from a Chinese article: (guess by who? the Google translator!)

Search a situation three strong competitive rivalry match staged Http:// April 29, 2006

In the Harley lovers around the world for the "Harley Porter and Huoyanbei" Almost three strong rivalry match was crazy, in the real world can have the same witness a new world of the three-strong rivalry -- three tycoon meet Chinese search competitive rivalry match. Strong in the first three search area is a move lower, but Google depth technical strength is not our immediate heavy checking. Immediately ahead, Yahoo's reintegration allowing two strong expectation. The second half of 2005, the big M & As Yahoo China with the search integration. Avoid the Yahoo search seven years after the return of the market moves again, let us remember the "magic return" of the mighty scene. Yahoo and the big achievement for some Zhulianbihe marriage. This successful outcome to the three strong competition match Yahoo, a rival more stable than the other two systems to support their development.

Since the completion of Yahoo attitude of the Chinese acquisition, Yahoo will take a series of important measures for market share. Last September, Yahoo announced that it would invest 110 million yuan in 2006 for the new Yahoo marketing department as the highest in the history of advertising. At the same time, Yahoo also its content portal carried out a bold streamlining its content more professional understanding, the search for a comprehensive focus on the core business strengths. In January this year, Yahoo search on line new knowledge, Yahoo Star activities in a nationwide search, 3721 is the opening of a new big name network network brand name. A series of big market moves higher, it will rise rapidly falling price of Yahoo search rankings also increase. Especially with the big integrated resources to possess large quantities of high-quality high-end core business customers known to the Yahoo client resources in the more prominent advantages : 9 million big B2B commerce members, 10 million Taobaowang registered Member : : Member of the existence of these means that Yahoo already has a number of the alarming number of network marketing quality clients. At the same time, relying on the huge platform partners, Yahoo search power for business users with a comprehensive marketing environment, and to target customers with comprehensive, professional marketing services. These advantages as Yahoo dare to search for strong competitive market capital.

With major competitive products in the market, continuously detailed search products and services into three dominant imperative. However, through further analysis, Yahoo Search unique competitive advantages soon manifest : First, double-Search (station search and column addresses search), provide users with a flexible double-entry, access to information and business users the opportunity to display information are manifold increase. Second, users of high quality, survey Yahoo search users mostly white-collar class, a larger commercial value.

In the promotion level Yahoo is no. Since last November, Yahoo launched the national "e-commerce 10,000 for training activities," designed to search for technology-based electronic commerce platform and marketing services. This level of e-commerce for clients to go, but quickly upgraded Yahoo relevant operational influence and visibility. One customer in that Yahoo search for the enormous commercial power after the return has said that Yahoo Search is the most competitive commercial value marketing tool.

Source : Chinese hi-tech industries Monitor

Not joking about the fact that Google translated Baidu into "lower", but the fact that the passages are so close to be readable. In fact, it is shocking how Google has created this translator that can translate Chinese which often use opposite grammers as English to this highly readable level.

Mary Meeker has previously talked about this instant translator that could threaten Baidu. I can see a even large threat if this thing getting even better in the future, that Google could possibly index Chinese using translated English context, that would create an unsurmountable advantage over Baidu.

Robin Li must rethink his prediction that Baidu would eliminate Google in five years!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Baidu Predicts Mobile Phone Will Bring More Online

April 23, China Internet's future will be relied on the mobile phone users. Baidu's CEO Robin Li made the prediction at the Asian Forum held in Boao, Hainan province.

Speaking at the subsession of "The Future of China Internet", Li said that, in the US, internet users outnumbered wireless users. In other Asian countries, such as Japan and Korea, the numbers of internet users and mobile phone users are very close. However, in China, mobile phone users outnumbered internet users by 3.8 to 1. It is a big oppertunity as well as a big challenge. Before the Olympic Games in 2008, 3G technology will be available in China. Mobile phones will be able to access internet without capacity constrains.

He estimated that in the next 2-3 years, wireless internet will add 100 perhaps even 200 million internet users. "Mobile users will be able to enjoy all the online services by that time. The prospect is reallly exciting."

According to Ministry of Information Industries, number of mobile users in China has surpassed 400 million. But the number of internet users is only about 100 million, though ranked number two in the world only after the US.

Asad Jamal, CEO of Draper Fisher Jurveston Ventures said that, China is already the country with fastest internet growth. China owns large number of mobile users. Further development in the mobile communications area to connect with internet will boost number of internet users. He predicts that the number will grow about 16% annually and could reach 230 million by year 2010.

He said that, the connection between mobile communication and internet is very important for China. Since so many users in both, the connection could help better development of 3G technology. The future of 3G in China is very bright. The expansion of online functions will gradually replace traditional communications.

Li indicated that, though many people thinks the web development in China has been very fast, "personally, I think the speed is still not satisfying".

According to data sources, the coverage of internet access in China is still only 8% nationwide though some mature markets have reached 60%. Baidu is an internet search service provider and a public traded company on Nasdaq. The shares rose a 325% on it's IPO day. Robin Li said that, from the point view of market values, there is still a big ditance from other countries. For example, the total value of 7 public traded Chinese internet company is only $13 billion, while the largest internet company in Japan alone is traded at $50 billion dollars.

Source: Huang Fuhui and Yanhao from

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Baidu Starts Golden Week

Baidu is promoting a travel sweepstakes from Apr 15 to May 15. Top 10 voted best "family travel strategies" will be awarded.

Every year, Chinese take a week long national vacation around May 1. It is designed for promoting domestic consumption especially tourism. The week long vacations have become fantastic periods for businesses in travel and restaurant industries and so acquired it's name: Golden Week.

Most of the Chinese travellers are aged around 25 to 45 according to China National Tourism Agency. Many elders are opted to stay home to avoid the crowded places.

Baidu is hoping to use this activity to get the elders involved in choosing tourist strategies that would be suitable for the whole family including the elders. The winners will be awarded free trips for the whole families.

Of course, Baidu is also hoping to attract more net users to search travel related information on Baidu. The travel industry has been a big customer for Baidu's search marketing business.

Both C-trip and Ebay will be participating in the promotion activity.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Google Builds Travel Portal with C-trip

Apr.15 from Beijing Daily

Still echoing the "song of harvest", Google's determination to settle deep inside China showes up in no time. Yesterday, Google has joined hands with C-trip on Google's local search service, From now on, when users search the Google local service with a name of one of the over three thousand hotels, they will instantly see a detailed electronic map and related information provided by C-trip.

The collaboration between Google and C-trip is regarded by industry analysts as a way to help users to find hotel related information. At the same time, it will boost the overall level of Google's local search service. As the largest travel agency for hotels in China, C-trip's monthly bookings has already surpassed 500,000 rooms with very rich resources of hotel information. And that is also the most important factor that C-trip was chosen as a partner for Google.

China aims for 20% rise in high-tech goods trade

GUANGZHOU, April 15 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government is aiming for a 20 percent rise in imports and exports of high-tech commodities this year.

Chang Xiaocun, head of the science and technology division with the Ministry of Commerce, disclosed the target in an article in a magazine published to mark the 99th China Export Commodity Fair that opened on Saturday in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province.

Chang wrote that foreign trade in high and new technology commodities should reach 500 billion U.S. dollars this year.

The value of import contracts should exceed 23 billion U.S. dollars, a rise of 20 percent, said Chang.

Trade in high and new technology commodities topped 416 billion U.S. dollars last year, of which, imports accounted for 197.71 billion dollars, up 22.5 percent. The value of contracts for imported technologies reached 19.05 billion dollars in last year, a rise of 38 percent.

The Chinese Export Commodity Fair, a biannual event launched in 1957, consists of two phases: manufactured goods, textiles and garments, foodstuffs and medicines in the first phase; and souvenirs, gifts and household commodities in the second.

The 99th fair, with 30,058 booths, has attracted 13,686 exhibitors, an increase of 1,031 over last year. The first phase will run from April 15 to 20 and the second from April 25 to 30.

It is estimated approximately 450,000 people will attend.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Google's Schmidt: I Understand Chinese Market Well

On his the second day of China Trip, China Business News interviewed Google's ceo's Eric Schmidt on Apr. 12

CBN: What's your expectation for the Chinese Market?

Schmidt: The major part of our work in China, or our major focus is not how much money we make, but how can we provide better services to our end users. We already have several million new users in China. The fast growing number makes me feel very fortunate.

CBN: Baidu said that, since you will only spend several days in China this time, you will not be able to understand the Chinese market. What do you think?

Schmidt: I have visited China many times in the last few years. Contrary to what they said, I have quite in depth understanding of the market.

CBN: Baidu also thinks Google will gradually losing market share in the next five years, just like many other foreign internet companies who could not swim well in this unfamiliar waters?

Schmidt: It is incorrect opinion.

CBN: When do you think Google will surpass Baidu in market shares in China?

Schmidt: We should not look at this as a horse race. I'm more focused on when our engineers will develop exciting new products. These perhaps will pass even my imagination. We could see some success this year.

CBN: How do you face the fact that Baidu has far outpaced Google in market shares?

Schmidt: The reason for that have happened is we had not really entered China. We did not have a local management team. However, Baidu has established a local team who understands local culture. So, it is a small mistake we have made. We have done things to correct the situation. We are putting our focus on the engineering team and innovations. Hopefully, our engineers will change the competition landscape in the future.

CBN: What's Google's future plan in China for the next few years?

Schmidt: This summer, our China Research Institute will have over one hundred engineers. We plan to hire several thousand engineers in the next couple of years.

In China, Google's largest investment will be on employees. We will build a large data center at the end. We will work with our partners, for example, with the National Library, to digitize books.

Translated from Chinese article

Robin Li: Google Will Be Today's Yahoo In Five Years

China Business News(CBN) interview Baidu's CEO Robin Li on Tuesday

CBN: Google's CEO Eric Schmidt is visiting China. One of his major activities will be the participation in the ceremony of the formal rollout of operations in China. What's your view on Google's entry into the Chinese market? And do you think Schmidt will play a major role in their China operations?

Li: I think the history of multinationals in the Chinese internet area basically proved what I have said before. That is the current situation of Yahoo.China. You can have the imagination of what Google.China will be alike. They have come through the same road, only slower.

Actually when you look at a management team, the CEOs of the multinationals can't spend long period of time in China. The internet is moving at lightning speed. How to adapt to the fast changing environment with new strategies and innovative products is a big challenge.

CBN: But the fact is that they are already here and possibly even to grab some of Baidu's top talents for their need. Then the question is how can you keep the stability of your team?

Li: From the cultural point of view, internet business in China basically built on founders' culture. What kind of founder determines the kind of company. That in turn, dertermines the core of the team and their styles. Therefore, if the founders stay active, the companies usually are doing well. For those their founders have left, they are usually in some trouble.

On the other hand, I have to admit that the cost of attaining talents are going up. But Baidu is not much like before. A few years back, we paid employees perhaps very low salaries but more stock options. Now we are paying them more cash. More importantly, Baidu provides a better growth environment for many people.

CBN: Then, you think Baidu has absolute lead?

Li: Of course not. Every company has strength as well as weakness. Regarding financials, Baidu is far from the top positions on the global ranks. We are still in an budding industry with relative short history. So, capital is not Baidu's strength.

Besides that, on the development front, we are only focus on the Chinese languge market. The maturity of the market is clearly not our advantage either. The search market in China is very special in the world. What special about it? Everywhere in the world, search is a major part of the internet market. In the US, it is about $6 billion. Though China is the second largest internet market, the search market scale is still very small. Moneytizing is not as good as online gaming. Currently, search market is only about 1/8 as big as online gaming market in China. So, the search market in China is very much immature. The majority of businesses do not know how to use search marketing for advertising campaign. All these are the problems facing us.

CBN: Under this situation, do you feel big pressure from investors?

Li: The situation is also meaning that the potential of search market is huge, not much a pressure.

Before and after Baidu's going public, investors have not done anything practically different. Our strategies are pretty much the same too.

For longer term, the investors' benefit aligns very well with my own, being a founder and manger. We all hope for higher profit. Common investors usually are looking at shorter term. They'd like to see next quarter's earnings be good. For Baidu to be succed in becoming respected high tech company in the world, we need to strike a balance between long term investment and short term profitability.

Currently we have not met any pressure from investors to do things we'd like not to do. We have firm control of decision makings.

Translated from Chinese Article

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Google CEO China to Rescue

Google CEO Comes to Rescue, May Taste the Bitterness of Globaliztion

By Lu Peng

While still under investigation by US Congress and troubled by many law suits, the US government yet to hand out the verdict for Google's Chinese strategy, Eric Schmidt is hastily visiting China with the title of Google's global Chairman and CEO.

It's his first official visit to China with the formality. He has even scheduled to give a speech at Peking University. Is he "Grand Opening the operations in Chinese market" as indicated by Google.China officials, or for some other reasons?

Is Schmidt the rescuer?

It's not a wild imagination if you look at Google's performance in China in recent years. According to CNNIC, Google is gradually losing the pioneer advantages in search engine market. The market share is moving to it's largest competitor, Baidu rapidly. There was no significant growth in Google's user base in 2005. It not only falling behind the rapid ascending Baidu, but also face the competition of Zhongsu and Yahoo.China. Google's invasion into China is clearly slowing.

Last year, there were some bright spots. The best part was that Kai-Fu Lee and Johnny Chou joined the camp. However, besides the press "showing", they have not brought in what Google most desired improvement of relationship with the Chinese government, nor the enhancement of channels. Lee and Chou's "non-performance", in addtional to rumored uneasiness between them, we can see the image of a "rescuer" overshadowing the image of an"ambassador".

Can Google break the spell?

Google is nothing short of a success story in the US. It's market value has surpassed the combination of Chrysler, GM, Ford plus Disney. But in China, Google is a mess. It is kind of like a violent combination of Microsoft and UTStarcom. For people familiar with the Chinese internet market, this is no strange phenomenon. From the early days that Sina defeated Yahoo, to recent supression of eBay by Alibaba's Taobao, the technological advantages of foreign companies have failed to be transformed into market advantages. In this "winner takes all" era, it is in some degree indicating their doomed future in the Chinese market.

As Yun Ma assured, the reason eBay could not beat Taobao is because they don't understand Chinese Market as well as Taobao. They don't understand the shopping trends and habits of the Chinese people very well. Google is facing similar problem. The Schmidts are buried in the enthusasm of techinical innovations, but ignored that the internet is connecting the daily lives of common people. Coming out the laboratory, search engine becomes uninspiring market. The difference between Google and Baidu is not only the difference between two languages but more importantly the difference between two cultures. For Westerners, the East is always mysterious and hard to search.

Is Google ready for China?

Even indeed that Schmidt is coming to"commence operations in Chinese market", is Google ready for China? With ambitions of global dominance, Google hasn't done that well in Germany, and France. Look all over the world, China is the last unexplored market left with non-Anglosaxon culture. That's why Schmidt is here. However, the first problem facing Google will be whether it will be accepted by Chinese government and the users. Facing the embarassment of law suits by Gmail users, how can Google melt into the Chinese culture? Are they hoping to change the views of the Chinese?

Yet don't forget that, Google is facing a stronger rival they never faced in any other countries, that is Baidu. Following the rapid rise in number of net users in China, Baidu is building world's largest Chinese platform through product innovations. With's popular bulletin board) and Knows) and the soon to be released Baidu.encyclopedia, Baidu is becoming the online community of Chinese as well as worldwide Chinese speaking users. Just like a picture painted by Robin Li, "When net users need to search information, they will naturally coming to Baidu. It is not only because Baidu is the largest Chinese search engine, but also because they can find people here who shares many common interests. Baidu is like a community where Chinese feel they belong, where they can communicate, and where they can search."

Baidu's special attraction, is also enticing many global companies who are interested in the Chinese market. Global giants such as Pepsi, Nokia, and Intel, who have already good understandings of Chinese market, have chosen Baidu as partner. They know that through Baidu, they will be getting closer to the Chinese people.

The departure of eBay's ceo Whitman announced the failure of eBay's US minded marketing strategy in China. Wishfully, when Schmidt departs China, it won't be an omen of another misfortune!

Translated from Chinese

Monday, April 10, 2006

Baidu Awarded 2005 Business Standard

Apr. 11 Beijing received the "2005 Business Standard Award" at the 2006 Business Inspiration Forum jointly held by "Business Review" magazine and Business School of International Trade University of China.

Besides the specutacular IPO on the Nasdaq, Baidu is very well received as "Simple and Reliable" in china.

Baidu Launches "Public Benefit" Page

Apr. 10, 2006 Baidu launched "Public Benefits" page at

The new service started with sections spread from charitable activities of many celebrities as well as fan clubs, discussion board on public affairs on charity and environmental issues, kids and education, as well as a section of links to many charitable organizations and environmental organizations.

Baidu's vice president of marketing, Liang Dong emphasized that Baidu is a company keen on public benefits. To start this new service, Baidu hopes to use it as a platform to combine the power of the stars with that of the public benefit organizations, individual enthusists, to use it as a multi-dimensional communications platform to improve the development of managements of public benefits.

If successful, "Baidu intends to become the world's largest web platform of public benefits in terms of traffic".

FMR Took 12% of Baidu Shares

It was reported by Boston Business Journal that FMR has taken a 12% stake in Fidelity is also the largest institutional holder of US search giant Google Inc.