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BIDU is a ticker symbol for the shares of China’s Internet company Baidu, traded on NASDAQ.
Nowadays, Baidu captures 80% of China's mobile search market with more than 465 million users. It ranks 4th among search engines (1.06%). It is gradually expanding its market presence.
Baidu was established in 2000 by Robin Li and Eric Xu (Li Yanhong and Xu Yong) with headquarters in Beijing and registration in the Cayman Islands. They met in the US where they both received education. Robin Lee had worked for several American IT companies. At that time, he developed and patented Randex (1996), an algorithm for ranking search results. This algorithm is also used in Baidu. The name of the startup is borrowed from a poem written more than 800 years ago. It means "hundreds of times", symbolizing the constant and persistent search for the ideal.
Services and products
The company primarily focuses on its main service - a search platform on the website baidu.com.
Baidu also develops additional services, including a news feed, social networks, Q&A software, MP3 search, the largest open Internet encyclopedia in Chinese, etc.
The company provides a platform for business through keyword-based targeted marketing services, transaction services (Nuomi, Takeout Delivery, Maps, Connect, Wallet, and others), an online video platform iQiy with a content library.
Baidu is also engaged in such areas as AI, self-driving vehicles, the construction of the world's largest testing ground for autonomous vehicles in Beijing, etc.
Considering peculiarities of China’s market
Private users receive various information on the network. A huge part of the Baidu traffic (about 40%) accounts for the service for finding direct links to download audio tracks. This causes a wave of complaints from record companies from all over the world, but the situation remains unchanged.
The company also takes into account the peculiarities of the Chinese political system when promoting its products. For example, Baidu excluded links to anti-government resources, pornography and suspicious websites from the search results. It actively cooperates with the authorities. The government appreciated the willingness of the company to make compromises and offered its full support. For example, a competing Google search engine was repeatedly blocked in China. For this reason, many users shifted their attention to the more reliable Baidu Wany Pan service at a time when Google Drive was blocked by a state decision.
The start-up capital of $1.2 million was raised by partners from American venture capital companies. A year later, Baidu got another $10 million investment. The founders of the company were largely betting on hiring highly qualified personnel.
In 2002, Baidu controlled 50% of China's online search market. In 2004, baidu.com became the number one search engine in the country. The high income of the company was also associated with the original method to optimize monetization. In order to reach a wider audience and build brand awareness, advertisers should pay fees for entering the Top. This led to a series of high-profile scandals (2007-2008) and the creation of a paid advertising platform Phoenix Nest.
In 2005, the company made an initial public offering debut on NASDAQ. BIDU set a record for the decade. By the end of the trading session, its shares had risen fourfold. The company earned $124 million during the IPO. In 2005, the profit came in at $13.2 million.
In 2007, BIDU was included in the NASDAQ-100 index.
Currently, 98% of Baidu's revenue comes from the Chinese market. The company has about 40,000 employees. Its net worth totals $23.69 billion and the number of shares is 34,582,875. Its market cap amounts to $43.896 billion (as of 1.09.2020).