Thursday, August 30, 2007

Baidu Answers 20 Million Questions

Today, Aug 31, 2007, a milestone will be set for Baidu Answers service. Twenty million questions will be answered by the popular service in China.

The world's largest interactive community based service is becoming one of the strongest driver for Baidu's user traffic growth.

"The contents are more reliable. The capability of problem solving is stronger. The usability is getting better. And more and more users love the service." said a proud Baiduer Yu Jun, who is vice-president of products at Baidu.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Baidu Answers Traffic Jump

Aug 21, 2007, iResearch reported that, according to the newest iUserTracker data, Baidu Zhidao(answers) service realized a huge growth in effective visiting time between the third quarter of 2006 and the second quarter of 2007. The numbers was less than 20 million hours but jumped to more than 42 million hours. The time spent was more than doubled.

Comparing with other services, the effect driven by the Answers service to the overall traffic is evident.

According to iResearch's analysis, the multiple functions of the service and it's award system has motivated many users for their participation and become a magnet for web users. The strong growth of the service and it's effect on overall traffic further validated the search engine's model of "search+community". iResearch believes the tight integration is future for web 2.0.

In the above fig:

the green line indicates traffic from

yellow line indicates traffic from MP3 search

Blue line indicates traffic from, the Answers service

Grey line indicates traffic from Baidu's new blog service,

Baidu Started Video Ads Service Trial

Aug 21, 2007, according to Sina tech, Baidu has started video ads trial "Baidu TV" in Baidu Union member sites.

The head of Baidu's Union partnership, Xiao Ming indicated that, The websites of Baidu's Union members will be embeded a "screen"gradually, "If you look at every website of our Union members as a wall, Baidu will choose the most suitable surface, install a screen. Web users will be able to enjoy web ads the way they watch TV". And that is also where the name of "Baidu TV" comes from, according to sources.

So far, Baidu Union has expanded to 150,000 partners. There are over 5000 Baidu's advertising customers are involved in a variety types of marketing activities in these Union sites. Baidu's Union members shared about 80 million yuan in revenue from Baidu in 2006. So far in the first two quarters, that number has almost already been reached.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Google Chasing Baidu for Answers

On Monday, Aug. 20, 2007, Google joined hands with to launch a Q&A service in China.

Baidu Answers( has been very successful in China. Robin Li, CEO of Baidu claimed recently that Baidu Answers has become the largest interactive community service in the world.

Tianya Q&A is now provided at Tianyaclub, a community site in China similar to Myspace and Facebook. The service labeled as "powered by Google technology". There's rumor in China that Google has taken a majority stake in

With Olympic Games approaching, the answers service could become a golden nest for branding display advertising. To launch the service at this moment, Google seems determined to grab a piece of the huge Olympic pie.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Baidu Chat Is Coming?

In his personal blog(in Chinese), Baidu's CEO Robin Li said he liked the name of Baidu Chat.

In a widely distributed image on the internet, an unknown fan created the image for rumored Baidu instant messenger and named it as Baidu Xiaosheng(or Chat).

In a simple but intriguing message, Robin said :"It is a good name. I like it but don't know who's the one that created the idea."

Many think he might have indirectly revealed that there is indeed a Baidu instant messager in the works. He might also trying to invite the creative original author to come forward to work for Baidu. Many fans like the name too and suggest that Baidu just use the name in their comments.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Baidu Could be Olympic Winner

Internet Tracking Center( issued a report on Aug. 10 which predicted that Baidu would be the biggest winner in the battle for Olympic related advertising.

On August 10, 2007, according to the Internet Tracking Center report, Baidu's vice president of business operations, Shen Haoyu said that Baidu will be reporting Olympics with a new media style but kept specific operational strategies secret.

We have all noticed that not long ago, Sohu just went public with it's claim of exclusive rights of sponsoring the Olympics on the web and warned other media outlet not to violate such rights. On July 19, 2007, Sina, Netease, and Tencent jointly established the Olympic coverage Union to challenge Sohu's monopoly. As many as 38 members have since joined the alliance so far.

Sohu is accused of trying to use the "rules" to monopolize all Olympic related advertisings. That behavior directly hastened the birth of China's Internet historic moment, the Olympic coverage Union, an alliance of sharing of resources and sharing of interests. The dusts are still unsettled at the moment. Baidu's action now is undoubtedly a detrimental blow to Sohu.

The joint news flow from the three major portals could post tremendous threat to Sohu's web traffic. Since each has it's own special areas, the advertisers would be willing to work with as many channels as possible. With the precision marketing technology to target specific groups of audiences, Baidu is even more attractive to advertisers.

In this Olympic battle, Baidu is likely to be the biggest winners. Baidu is a technology-based company itself, coupled with its many community based services. If fully utilize it's huge customer resources, Baidu can deliver more precisely targeted ads and create more economic value.

Whether merchants or websites, their biggest desires are relying on the Olympics to improve their brand images and influence on the public. We have reason to believe that apart from the three major portals of the Olympic Union, many businesses will choose to invest in Baidu's precision marketing.

Additionally, Baidu is headquartered in Beijing, with host advantage to the Olympic Games. As the flagship enterprise in the Zhongguancun high tech zone, Baidu is also likely to get favorable treatment from the government. Together with it's own superior strength, Baidu's Olympic action is likely to take them to a new high point financially.

These are the reasons for us to believe that in this Olympic battle on the web, Baidu will be the ultimate winner.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Baidu Promotes "Precision Marketing System"

At last year's first Baidu World Forum, Baidu started testing the "Precision Marketing" advertising tools. reported from this year's Baidu World, Baidu has perfected the tool and formally announced the "Precision Marketing System".

After more than a year of testing and feedback, combining the development of a new cutting-edge advertising technology and management tools, Baidu has created the marketing system focusing on "precision targeting". Reporter found out today at the Baidu World Forum 2007. In the future, Baidu customers can use the three "powerful marketing tools" of the system including wider coverage, more precise targeting , and more comprehensive services and management.

In July 2006, the first Baidu world, Baidu launched precision advertising services. This advanced technology relies on Baidu's massive database of search behaviors of internet users to conduct in depth analysis. The system can then be delivered precisely by targeting the desired audiences. Since it is launched 12 months ago, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Haier, Nike, Samsung and other world famous enterprises have chosen this service.

Baidu Chairman and CEO Robin Li said : "Whether search or community activities, internet users are self motivated by their natural initiatives. We can find the exact consumer groups through data collection and analysis due the interactive nature of our new media services."

"The upgrade of the service to a system provides 'three powerful weapons' of wide coverage, high-precision and multiple tools. First, in the past we could only target specific individuals. Now, we can deliver precise targeting base on industry, community and behaviors. More importantly, behind the precision system, not only we have the database of search behaviors, but also research data on community behaviors. The accuracy is much higher. Besides that, before delivering the ads, data analysis of internet users, the very insightful Baidu's data reports and Baidu indicators are also organically incorporated into the system for the first time." said Shen Haoyu, vice president of operations at Baidu.

Currently the number of Internet users in China has reached 144 million, more than 90% of Internet users had used Baidu, daily production of large volumes of data has formed the country's largest Internet behavior database. Addtionally, the advantage of Baidu's leading position and Baidu's internet technology formed a solid foundation for Baidu to build the Precision Marketing System in China.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Shawn Wang: We are in early stage

How big really is the Chinese search market economy? With a market cap approaching 7 billion dollars, Baidu believes that the current market is only just the beginning.

Yesterday, in Beijing at the "Baidu World" conference, Baidu's CFO Shawn Wang had an interview with reporter from Shanghai Securities News. Recently, Baidu has been voted the "most influential overseas-listed Chinese companies" by the newspaper.

Reporter : Oversea's financial analysts have very divergent views on Baidu's valuation, how do you view this issue?

Wang : It's not an easy thing for foreign financial analysts to value Baidu since we gave little guidance. Doing so is because we don't want to be in a position to be scrutinized. We at Baidu knows the search marketing in China is still in it's infancy stage. We must create a good operational environment ourselves. We have seen earlier oversea-listed Chinese companies complaining about over involvement of Wall Street investors.

Reporter : So what's the reasonable valuation for Baidu?

Wang : Regarding the value of Baidu, this is a very difficult question to answer. But there are several key comparative figures we can look at. If you compare China's economy and the economy of the United States, the scale of China's economy is about 70% of the scale in the United States and soon to become the world's second largest economy. In regard to advertising, the scale of China's advertising market is only one twentieth of that of the US. China's online marketing is about one fortieth the size. China's search market is probably only one sixtieth of the U.S. search market.

In contrast, the Chinese market is even more suited for search economic development. The Chinese market is currently in a more entrepreneurial atmosphere. China has a large number of emerging enterprises, the SMEs looking for expansion but lack of a unified domestic market. Baidu's PPC service provides SMEs with a perfect platform. Therefore, China's market environment should be more conducive to the economic development of search.

However, many SMEs with capacity of spending are not very familiar with the Internet. That is why Baidu have built such a large marketing and customer service teams. What Baidu is doing is like a missionary in spreading the seeds.

Reporter : Currently there is a huge gap between Baidu's market capitalization and revenue and the international giants such as Microsoft and Google. How to avoid a hostile takeover? Does this gap put pressure on Baidu for doing business?

Wang : First of all, all these multinational giants have experienced the same stages that Baidu are experiencing, though Baidu's growth rate has far exceeded theirs. As for the hostile takeover, Baidu listed in the beginning of a specially made arrangements, the so-called "Newcastle", in order to prevent hostile takeover by foreign investors. Baidu is not concerned.

reported by Shanghai Securities News.

Baidu plans brand advertising in it's community properties

August 9, Baidu's vice president of commercial operations, Shen Hao-yu said that in the future Baidu will continue to increase brand advertising marketing, and will incorporate brand advertising in Baidu's community service products .

In today's Baidu World Forum, vice president of operations of Baidu Shen Yu-hao, released Baidu's latest marketing strategy. Baidu will continue to strengthen brand advertising which has seen rapid growth recently. Baidu will incorporate brand advertising into more of it's search products .

Shen Hao Yu revealed Baidu's directional marketing plans for industries. It will divide the community products into different channels. Then it will combine all the community products together around a specific common interest to serve as a common platform for brand advertising. In one example, Shen said "Baidu can search a topic such as car or travel among all the community products, including,, and The brand advertising can then be embedded side by side with the results, just like what we currently doing with brand advertising."

A Baidu person said that while both the brand and keyword advertising have increased, but the brand advertising has been growing faster in absolute terms. Brand advertising will be in even greater proportion of revenue in the future.

reported by

Google vs Baidu video

Update - here is the full length Google video:

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Google's Kai-Fu Li Apoligizes to CCTV but not Baidu

Google's Kai-Fu Li apologized to CCTV today in a letter addressing the storm caused by an internal promotional video.

"That's not the thing we should do and it violated Google's business culture". Li wrote in his letter to CCTV. In the widely spread video, Google employees imitated CCTV's news program, repeately using "one center, two principles", "CCP", "State Council", "Red Sun" to label themselves. "This might have hurt the feelings of the Chinese people" Li apologized in the letter.

Li admitted the video is indeed made by Google for the Spring Festival. The manuscript was written entirely by one front desk employee but many staff from both Beijing and Shanghai as well as channel resellers participated. "it was intended to have some fun internally, but unfortunately it has been leaked out so many months later. We totally unexpected this." Li said.

In April, Google apologized for copying Sohu's dictionary and rumored to have angered the US headquarter. Only months later, here is another apologizing letter. People may start to wonder about Google's ethics and their public responsiveness. Google's China journey is getting harder.

From report by Ren Zhong(in Chinese)

Add: Most Chinese internet users are getting used to these kind of videos and seem to understand the humor and take it lightly though.

Baidu simply said that the video "wasn't that good".

Kai-Fu Li actually appeared in the video. Most part of the video use many slogans to label Google employees "righteous" communist and repeated label Baidu as "many poisons"(sound like).

Part of the video now found it's way to Youtube, have fun watching those stiff Google communists :)

Baidu started the video game with this one:

Baidu Card

August 9, 2007 Beijing

"Baidu World Forum 2007" is being held in Beijing today. More than 2,000 customers, users and partners attended the annual meeting. Baidu and China Merchants Bank announced that they have reached an important strategic cooperation agreement. Both firms will jointly issue debit cards "Baidu Card" to better serve the over 120 million registered Baidu users. They also signed agreement code named "Golden SME growth" package of financial services. The package of over 30 categories will provide Baidu's online marketing customers with services including speedy financing, one-on-one consulting and Baidu data services.

Issue of "Baidu Card" will have Baidu homepage as the design theme. It is expected to cause a frenzy among tens of thousands of fanatical Baidu fans. Moreover, as China's largest online marketing promotion platform, Baidu has already established complex relationships with the tens of thousands of businesses. Baidu will sign up most of these businesses. When using "Baidu Card", they will be able to enjoy all the special services for these marketing customers. Individual users can get Baidu Card in any of the China Merchants Bank outlets in accordance with the normal process for the card.

China Merchants Bank is starting promotion for the card nationwide today. The "Golden SME growth" plan will be gradually rolled out in two months. Many addtional benefits for Baidu Card owners provided by China Merchants Bank will also be announced shortly.

from hexun report(in Chinese)

Robin Li: Go International

Aug. 9, 2007 Beijing.

In a keynote at the Baidu World Forum 2007, Baidu's chairman and CEO Robin Li pointed out, there is no other choice but expand worldwide.

"From the fundamental point of view, a business should not have a national border. When you reach certain stage, it is a must to go international." Li said. Although domestically, you can have certain covers under protective policies. As the market continue towards openness, especially entering WTO, businesses will have to face a more open and free market economy. There will be no difference whether you are an international or non-international business.

He also said that, Baidu has achieved certain success in the last seven years. Now, "we must go out. If not, sooner or later, we will likely lose the Chinese market too."

Li indicated that, if a business can do a super job in one market, but so so in other markets, it only indicate the unhealthiness of the business. "for any business, there is no other choice but to go international".

from report (in Chinese)

Baidu starts "Wenhua" service

Aug. 9, 2007 Beijing.

In the Baidu World Forum 2007, first annoucement being made is that Baidu has been officially chosen as exclusive search engine partner for the "national cultural information sharing project".

Baidu's specially designed search service is now live. This is the first time the national culture project starts collaboration with a search engine. It also marks Baidu's major move in promoting digital dessemination and utilization of national culture heritage.

"National Cultural Information Resource Sharing Project" is a public work led by the Ministry of Culture, jointly organized and implemented with the Ministry of Finance. The CPC Central Committee and the State Council attach great importance to the project. It also listed as important public culture project in the "11th Five-Year Plan". The project will vigorously integrate various cultural and information resources from national libraries, museums, art galleries, art research institutions into components of the databases and to make them widely accessible through the internet. More than fifty categories including all nationalities, ancient architectures, history, heritage, rare books, dramas, etc.

Baidu is undisputed leader in Chinese search engine services. It is also interesting to note that by choosing a domestic partner, the government may intend to keep national heritage resources in the hands of Chinese. Consequently, this move may further strengthen Baidu's dominance in the Chinese search market and put Google in a disadvantage position.

Baidu World Forum 2007

August 9, 2007. Baidu World Forum 2007 Opened at Beijing.

Baidu World is an annual forum hosted by Baidu that brings together Baidu's users, customers and partners. As the world's largest Chinese language website, with the most extensive user base and the most influential new media applications, Baidu is influencing the way people find information, which in turn influences the way people live.

At Baidu World Forum 2007, Baidu's second annual forum, Internet government officials, international marketing experts, multi-national CEOs, Chinese business leaders, economists and industry analysts will discuss the topic "Looking for China's World-Class Companies". In addition, Robin Li, Baidu's Chairman and CEO, will offer his thoughts on Baidu's World and industry specialists will discuss the changing trends in new media.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Google's Chinese News Traffic Jumps In The First Half

iResearch released new data from it's iUserTracker for June, 2007.

Among all major Chinese news search services, Baidu ranked number one with 69.3% coverage follwed by Sogou(Sohu's) and Google with 16.4% and 13.3% respectively. Netease came in at fourth with 11.7%.

(image from ITBEAR, green line indicate data fro Baidu, blue line for Google, and yellow line for Sogou)

Look at the trends, Baidu continue to dominant. Baidu has been well received among Chinese internet users and become the first choice for most Chinese looking for news.

Google's news coverage has seen significant increase in the first half. It's traffic increased from only 4.5% in January to 13.3% in June, gaining nearly 9% of traffic shares. The collaboration with Sina and other major portals has played important roles. Combining with with, Google's Chinese news service would be ranked number two in China.

It's also noteworthy for Sohu's Sogou service. During the first four months, it's performance has been flat. Since May, the traffic share of Sogou started to take off. Especially, it's share jumped in June to 16.4%, up 6.3% from May.

From the report in Chinese.