Monday, June 29, 2009

Product VP Yu Jun leaves

Effective immediately. While he says he has no plans of
starting a new business, one wonders considering how
abrupt the move is. Yu is one of Baidu's stars, promoted
through the ranks from marketing manager to senior
manager, general director, chief product designer and
then VP.

Friday, June 26, 2009

New P2P service, updates to IM and online pay services

A Baidu insider said the company plans to
release a peer-to-peer (P2P) search service
at soon, reports Sohu. The
site's provided links will include P2P sources
from easyMule, said the insider.

Baidu is also internally testing a new version of
IM, which it plans to release soon. With this version
of Baidu-Hi, users can design their own profile
pictures, and register to receive pop-ups from
Baidu Post bar forums and news channels.

Bai Fu Bao, the online payment tool, has been upgraded
to include a safety feature allowing users to set a handset
activation code for amounts beyond a settable threshold.

Susquehanna raises PT to $350

"We use a square root sign to describe Baidu's
growth structure. The angled line on the left
part of a square root shape represents
consumptions, while the horizontal line on the
right stands for the advertiser budget limit.
We think Baidu has shifted its major focus to
work on improving the ROI of customers
through Phoenix Nest System, whereby it can
lift the budget line to monetize growing traffics.
We think ARPU can easily double and triple
from current levels in the next couple of years.
That being said, we feel Baidu is facing
increasing competition on the consumption
side, with emerging rivals such as Tencent,, and Combining
these factors, we think it is premature to
worry about's growth at this point,
because the market size is becoming much
bigger from current level"

Their 2010 non-GAAP EPS estimate is $10.

S&P reiterates sell rating

EPS estimate around $5.4 for 2010.

S&P report

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Acquisitions being planned

Jennifer Li said Baidu might buy companies to grow.
Likely to be in non-search markets or in Japan.
Since the P/E is quite high, buying with stock is a
good option, with minimal stock dilution

Friday, June 19, 2009

HSBC starts coverage with underweight rating

Price target of $244.

Switching over to Phoenix Nest

Baidu is moving over to the new ad system, closing down
parts of the old one. The move is gradual, and the company
has not announced a firm date for the switchover to be

Thursday, June 18, 2009

GS, James Mitchell, raises PT to $350

The firm expects Baidu to meet or beat their
Q2 revenue forecast, have stable or improving
operating margins, and positive implications
from China blocking Google's YouTube for most
of the last three months.

Specifically, GS expects Baidu to meet or beat
the 35% growth forecast for Q2, given the smooth
adoption of Phoenix Nest. Given flat headcounts
for the next 2-3 years, and reduced costs as
the Japanese startup goes beyond the initial
stage, Baidu should see margins stable, even
if TAC goes up.

2009 EPS estimate raised by 1% to $6.57.
2010, up by 7% to 9.77. For 2011, raised
by 11% to $13.12

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Japan's travel agency to spend on Baidu

buying the keyword "Japan Travel" for tens of millions of
dollars, as per Beijing Times. Baidu is also promoting many
Japanese tourist destinations, advertising for local tourism
bureaus in Japan. Baidu Japan is making progress selling
ads to tourism bureaus.

Piper Jaffray increases price target to $340

from $250. Gene Munster sees the 41% rise in domain
name registrations in June as a harbinger of things to
come. Believes the real market has around 40 million
small and medium business enterprises, as against
Baidu's current market of 185k businesses. He also
believes the second quarter is tracking to plan.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Recruiting 500 sales employees in 09

Baidu is recruiting 500 sales employees nationwide
by the end of this year. Most are seemingly going to
be recent graduates. Baidu has also adopted a new
salary system more acceptable to the staff.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Nike ads on Baidu's pages

Nike's ads will be shown along with search links for
keywords. In addition, Baidu Zhidao and Baike, the
Q&A and encyclopedia websites, will be linked to
from Nike's website.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Monetizing image search first 6 positions on 1st page

Baidu is allowing ads in the first six positions on the
first page of image search results. The fees are going
to be set annually, on a per keyword basis. The fees
paid to Baidu would depend on ad duration.

Monday, June 8, 2009

New vendor rating system on Youa

Baidu has a new rating system on its B2C platform, Youa.
The system lets users rate whether products match the
description, the service attitude, and delivery speed.
Li Mingyuan, GM of Baidu's e-commerce business dept.
said the credit and guarantee services of vendors are
important references for online shoppers.

Friday, June 5, 2009

5fad takes its case to the Supreme Court

China's Supreme People's Court will begin hearing
Hangzhou-based 5fad (now called 59iyule ) MP3
copyright infringement lawsuit against Baidu. 5fad
had a partial victory in the lower court, Beijing Higher
People's court, which ordered Baidu to pay RMB 70,000
for 26 unlicenced songs. However, 5fad lost on the
RMB 100 million compensation claim. Since their
legal costs came to RMB 440,000, they ended with
a major net loss.

Writing the text on search

Baidu is teaming up with Tsinghua (China's #1 university)
to publish a undergrad level text on search engine
technology. Baidu already has conducted lectures at
Huazhong University of Science and Technology and
Tsinghua on Internet search.

M2B tie-up

Asia-based, US-listed, broadband entertainment
company, M2B allies with Baidu. Baidu will drive
traffic to their site, hosting licensed movies, TV
series and variety shows. Their chinese website
for WOWtv shows popular programs like the travel
series Estelle's paradise, fashion videos from the
Video Fashion Network, Thai movies and
award-winning Chinese short films. All content will
have Mandarin subtitles. M2B is owned by Amaru

Pacific Crest raises target from $160 to $410

The highest PC has ever set for Baidu. The previous high
for them was $405, back in April 2008.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

GS raises PT to $300

Believes Internet advertising, in general, will
rebound in 2010. GS has been consistently
raising their price target on Baidu throughout
this year, maintaining a buy.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Alpha testing social networking service: Da Jiang Hu

The SNS site will integrate Baidu Postbar and MP3
search service. The site would require a valid id and
a Baidu pass to register.

Baidu to use SSDs instead of hard disks

Solid State Drives use NAND memory (flash) and have
the same interfaces as hard disks. As of 2009, says
Takehito Soeda, marketing director at Baidu Japan
Inc of Japan, "We plan to use SSDs for several tenths
of all search servers, and 100% of Web search servers."
The company selected SSDs after analyzing existing
data center requirements and reviewing technology
trend forecasts for the future. According to
Baidu Japan's Soeda, "The volume of data handled by
the search engines has grown enormously, and the volume
of data to be processed per unit time is still growing at a
frightening pace. We don't expect the pace to slacken any,

Baidu took a long, hard look at just what type of storage
system would be optimal for the needs of the era.
Input/output (I/O) performance is low on a per-HDD
basis, and the only way to cope with surging data volume
would be to install massive numbers of HDDs running in
parallel. "We also considered whether this increased
scale was the best solution for the future," reveals
Soeda. "It became apparent that SSDs, with
I/O performance tens of times faster than HDDs,
were very promising."

iResearch: Baidu at 74.1% in Q1, 2009

helped by the CCTV spring festival advertising. This is up
2.1% points from Q4, 08. Total # of queries was at 44.27 billion,
a little lower than Q4, 08. Google user share has fallen to
20.8% in Q1. Baidu's share was 63.5% for all of 2008. The
market research firm expects Q2 numbers to go up sharply
because of searches related to the H1/N1 virus and
the anniversary of the Sichuan earthquake.