Monday, August 25, 2008

Canaccord Adams reiterates sell

with price target $265. As a very successful Olympics
comes to a close, Canaccord Adams raises the issue of a
post-event hangover on the horizon as China faces a
slowing global economy (firm projects GDP growth to slow to
8% next year) and accelerating inflation (around 6% this
month). The firm is also witnessing Chinese Internet leaders
Sina Corp, and Tencent tempering their 2009 growth
expectations, particularly in the ad market, and they expect
this to create downward pressure on Baidu's stock. The firm
says that Baidu should experience slowing growth in the back
half of the year - cited Sept qtr growth to slow due to
interruptions from the Olympics.

Friday, August 22, 2008

E-commerce platform in closed beta

Baidu announced today that its e-commerce platform
has been updated and opened to 10,000 closed beta
testers. Business owners who apply for and receive
approval for this round of the beta will receive
free .cn domain names from Baidu and free platform
promotions and customized marketing support. In
addition, these business owners will receive
permission to upload products, design their websites,
and provide business verification information in
preparation for the site's official launch.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Using new SSD storage technology

Baidu has confirmed it has been researching new physical storage
technology to replace the existing hard drives powering its
search technology. The move comes as part of Baidu's plan to
overhaul its system to improve search speed. While the company
has not confirmed exactly what the changes involve, rumors are
circulating on Chinese Internet portal Tencent Tech that Baidu
has finished internal testing and will be ready to launch the
new technology shortly.

According to experts in the search field, the new technology is
likely to be solid-state drive (SSD) storage technology.

Internet portal Sina (Nasdaq: SINA) is reporting that Baidu has
confirmed that the new physical storage is using SSD storage,
and that mechanical hard drives have been removed from all
computer clusters used by Baidu's search engine.

Piper reiterates rating

Piper Jaffray analysts Gene Munster and Vivian B. Li have an Olympic impact update on Baidu.

The analysts said, "Based on meetings with advertisers in China, we believe the impact of the Olympics on Baidu's business has been in line with Street expectations, and Baidu's September quarter is tracking to plan. We believe the first two days of the games saw a dramatic decline in Baidu search, but traffic has gradually improved from the initial drop."

The analysts also highlighted that the company's September quarter guidance calls for a two-month slow down (July 20th- September 20th) from the Olympics. However, the analysts believe this is a conservative expectation. Instead, they expect "search traffic should return to near normal levels within a week after the end of the games (September 1st)."

Finally, the analysts have a Baidu Japan update. They said, "In line with Street expectations, sources in China indicated to expect revenue from Baidu Japan to begin by the end of 2008, with nominal revenue contribution in 2009." However, Munster and Li are not modeling for any Baidu Japan revenue. Instead, they see Baidu Japan as more measurable in 2010.

Overall, they maintain their Buy rating and $468 price target.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Financial news channel outsourced to

Baidu is about to outsource its financial news channel to, one of the top-ranking financial news portals
in China, under an agreement signed by the two parties. has reportedly prepared for taking over the
job by setting up 30 booths for Baidu employees.

Baidu's financial news channel was founded in October 2007
after it gained a news reporting license at the end of 2006.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Cost per action ad platform launched

After 2 months of testing, Baidu has officially launched
its cost-per action (CPA) advertising platform. Currently
a total of 9 advertisers and brands including online
recruitment site ChinaHR, online retailer Dangdang,
Kingsoft (3888.HK) Anti-virus and Skype are using
the service to deliver their ads to the more than
200,000 members of the Baidu Alliance advertising
network. Under the CPA platform, advertisers are not
charged when a user views or clicks on an ad. Instead,
they are charged only when a viewer performs a
certain action such as registering on the site, downloading
content, or when they perform some other concrete

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New Olympic offerings

Baidu is expected to offer real-time reports of gold
medal winners on its homepage, and update its search
engine to provide specialized results for Olympic terms
during the Beijing Olympics, reports TechWeb. Results
for the Chinese term for "Bird's Nest" are currently
topped off with an image and text-based introduction
of the venue and three links: official
related maps and schedules and Baidu image search

Friday, August 1, 2008

Cosmetic industry and beverage industry reports released

Through massive data mining, Baidu Data Research Center
has collected and published a report displaying brand
competition, and forecasting industry trends for the
beverage industry. It also released another report on
the cosmetics industry covering statistical analysis
of beauty and skin care related information.

Machine translated beverage industry report
Machine translated cosmetic industry report

Initial account fees for advertisers raised?

From the new marketing materials [we] have
received, Baidu has raised the initial
advertising budget for new accounts from
RMB3,000 to RMB5,000. The “consulting” fee
remains the same, RMB600. New advertisers
therefore are required to pay RMB5,600
(about USD824) upfront to set up a new
pay-per-click account.

As a comparison Google account opening fee
stands at RMB50, with prepay advertisers
required to pay a minimum of RMB100 everytime
they recharge their accounts.

[From a blog posting by Patrick Abotsi ]