Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Baidu Union members to get a greater cut

Baidu will increase the percentage of revenue it
shares with Baidu Union members. Ye Peng, COO,
did not reveal specific percentages. Some small
website owners complain the cut they get is too
low, in some cases only 25% of what advertisers

Youa launches online community channel

Baidu's consumer-focused e-commerce platform
Youa.com officially launched an online community
channel at bbs.youa.com on May 10, reports 163.com.
The channel offers buyers a platform for sharing
bargaining and shopping experiences and gives sellers
a place to talk business and operations, said a related
Youa.com chief.

Intel ad on homepage

Baidu, for the first time, placed an ad, for Intel, on its
homepage. The ad service was provided by Doubleclick.
Responses seemingly overwhelmed Intel's webservers,
and Baidu has pulled the ad, at least for now.

James Mitchell of GS does not believe the strike impacts Baidu

Thinks the sales workforce, around 3900, is probably
bloated from acquisitions, and needs to be trimmed
anyways. Baidu has reduced sales and marketing
expense as a percent of revenue from 24% to 13%
from 2005 to 2008. He expects it to go down to
9% by 2012. In the US, search companies automate
the process, and do not have a sales team. Baidu is
probably headed the same way.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Baidu strike in Shenzhen, in addition to Guangzhou

Nearly 200 employees of Baidu's Shenzhen subsidiary
stopped work on the afternoon of May 15 and traveled
to Shenzhen's Nanshan District Labor Bureau to protest
changes to their salaries, reports 163.com. More than
40 managers from Baidu's Guangzhou and Shenzhen
subsidiaries requested a week off after China's May 1
holiday, and employees also stopped work, said the
report, quoting Baidu salespeople and managers.

Previous reports said that dozens of employees from
Baidu's Guangzhou subsidiary had stopped work to protest
a new salary system and KPI requirements that became
effective on May 1. According to the reports, employees
said the new metrics may halve the salaries of most
lower-level sales staff. An unnamed mid-level manager said
the changes would affect about 200 employees in Guangzhou
and more than 1,000 in the entire South China region,
including Shenzhen and Dongguan.

Partnering with China Telecom

Under this agreement, Baidu's wireless search
service will be embedded in China Telecom's
''Best Tone'' 3G phone modules. China Telecom
mobile subscribers will be able to use the
''Best Tone'' platform to access Baidu products
including web search, Baidu Knows, Baidu Post-bar,
image search, news search, MP3 search and other
useful services.

''We are very excited to provide China Telecom
subscribers with wireless search services,'' said
Xuyang Ren, Baidu's Vice President of Marketing
and Business Development. ''The cooperation
between Baidu and China Telecom leverages each
company's respective expertise and should deliver
a convenient and rich mobile search experience to
a growing and important user base.''

Strike at Baidu's Guangdong offices on hold

Employees in Guangdong are back to work, pending
negotiations with the company. No new agreement
has been reached. The workers, who struck work by
staying at home or coming to the office and not working,
agreed to give the company two or three days to come
up with a response. The salespeople who struck work
are protesting an unrealistic increase in sales quotas, and
a 30% salary cut. They consider this a backdoor way of
getting them to leave. The company claims this is part
of an efficiency drive to motivate the workers by matching
incentives to productivity.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Unicom, Telecom partnerships to be announced on May 17th

Cai Hu, general manager of Baidu advertising alliance
Baidu Union, confirmed Thursday that Baidu intends to
announce wireless search partnerships with two telecom
operators on May 17, reports 163.com. Baidu will partner
with all three of China's telecom operators, said Cai. Cai
did not disclose the partners' names.

Baidu Brand and Marketing Senior Director Zhu Guang
called reports that Baidu has already partnered with
China Mobile "definitely erroneous." Baidu has already
partnered with China Telecom and China Unicom, the
report said. Baidu CEO and Chairman Robin Li said in
April that Baidu was in talks with China Mobile for
3G wireless search and had negotiated with Telecom
and Unicom.

Baidu Union generated 400 mln yuan in 08

Shen Haoyu, president of business operations for Chinese
online search engine Baidu, says the company's Baidu Union
advertising service has become one of the company's most
important businesses and that in 2008, the company paid
RMB 400 mln in ad revenues to Baidu Union partners – a
one hundredfold increase over the RMB 4 mln figure from
2002 when it first started the program. Shen also revealed
that Baidu Union plans to release a graphic ad system known
as "Big Dipper" that is currently being tested by some clients.
In the future, clients will be able to sell paid non-search
advertising links through the system, although Baidu said it
would not rule out the possibility of incorporating competitive
bidding into the new system. Shen went on to say that
Baidu Union now has nearly 300,000 registered users.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Baifubao offers Rising security software

Baidu's online payment platform "BaiFuBao" is partnering
with Rising to offer their anti-virus package through its
security center.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Censorship list leaked

A set of internal working documents from the
censorship department at Baidu, were recently
leaked. These documents are quickly appearing
on blogs, forums and across the internet both in
China and around the world. A China Digital Times
post includes a comprehensive list of the websites
that are being censored by Baidu. The documents
also include staff names and their performance
records, company contacts censorship guidelines,
operating instructions, as well as specific lists of
topics and even words to be censored. Additional
company information is included in the time frame
from November 2008 through March 2009.
Some of the blacklisted topics include information
on “defending human rights and appeals,” Falun Gong,
the 1989 Tiananmen Square student massacre,
information on Chinese Communist Party leaders,
ethnic minority issues and the human organ trade.
Each topic contains a list of keywords such as
“quit the CCP,” “dictatorship,” “suppression,”
“China’s human rights” and “brainwashing.”

According to a report published by the University of
Toronto last year that compared the transparency of
search engines in China, censorship was found to be
blocking sites at a rate of more than 26% of the tested
websites. Baidu censored the most. In addition western
search engines also provided censorship. Yahoo censored
21% of the websites and Google 15%.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Baidu top search engine for businessmen

Baidu remains China's top search engine for
businessmen, according to a ranked list launched
by www.toocle.cn, a Chinese B2B website. The list,
first of its kind to target business people, was
compiled by Toocle.cn, who claims itself as the
leading portal for businessmen. Toocle.cn boasts
a daily visitor count of tens of millions. Baidu.com
continues to stand at the top of April's ranked list,
with a market share of 59.14 percent, followed by
google.cn, the search engine by Google. Inc, and
sogou.com owned by Sohu.com, each with
14.46 percent and 7.5 percent of market share
respectively. Youdao.com, by Netease
(NTES.NASDAQ), cn.yahoo.com by Yahoo! and
soso.com by Tencent took fourth to sixth place
with respective market share of 6.65 percent,
6.53 percent and 5.67 percent.

According to the monitoring statistics of Toocle.cn,
the six search engines attracted 852,815 clicks by
business people in April, down 55,005 from
907,820 clicks in March, as a result of the financial

Monday, May 4, 2009

Partnering with cellphone handset makers to preinstall search

An unnamed insider said Baidu has partnered with
handset manufacturers including Samsung, Lenovo
and Beijing Tianyu Communications Equipment to
release handsets pre-installed with wireless search
technology, including two Samsung models that will
hit shelves in May, reports 163.com. The models are
Samsung's S8300, which will support China Unicom's
WCDMA network, and S5239, which supports
2G networks from Unicom and China Mobile. The
search tool can be accessed via a Baidu icon
preinstalled in the handset menu. Baidu has been
cooperating with Taiwan-based chip designer to
develop a search service based on MTK's platform,
said the insider.

Baidu is working on a wireless search tool named
"Zhang Shang Baidu" (roughly, "Baidu Palm") that will
be simultaneously released in Japan this year, said
Chief Technology Officer Li Yinan during the April 2009
Global Mobile Internet Conference. The Samsung, Lenovo
and Tianyu model is similar to a partnership Baidu
established with Nokia in 2006. Over 90% of
Chinese-made handsets use MTK operating system

Testing an MP3 ad-based model

Baidu chairman and CEO Robin Li said in
Changsha recently that the search company
will test an operating model based on sharing
ad revenue in an attempt to resolve copyright
issues pertaining to its MP3 search functionality.
Baidu will split ad revenue earned from media
with the individual and corporate copyright
holders, while still allowing consumers free access
to the copyrighted products or content. Li said
Baidu was currently experimenting with the
model and that some companies had already
signed partnership agreements with Baidu
based on shared ad revenues, but did not reveal
any further details.