Monday, November 30, 2009

Sanford Bernstein downgrades on valuation

from outperform to market perform (buy to neutral).
Says the price has run up so much valuation is now
excessive. Raises price target from $420 to $460.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Baidu acquires Dayhand

Rumored to pay 30million RMB. Dayhand has software
that allows mobile users to input Chinese characters by
picking from the screen.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

CIC survey: Baidu user search share at 69.8%

  1. Baidu: 69.9%
  2. Google: 19.8%
  3. Sogou (part of Sohu): 3.5%
  4. Soso (part of Tencent): 3.3%
  5. Others: 3.5%
Last year's CIC survey

Friday, November 20, 2009

Chinese-language Japanese ecommerce site expanded

renamed from "Window on Japan" at to"Window to the world",
with sections on Japan and South Korea, for now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Baidu Wendang catching on

Baidu Wendang is the document sharing service
launched on the Q&A channel. Users upload docs
and gain points they can use to download other
docs. Unregistered users can browse and search,
but not download.

The service had amassed 7,400 documents within
48 hours of its November 12 release, and the number
had doubled to 15,242 by Monday morning. As of
Monday, professional reference made up the greatest
proportion at 5,578 files, while tests, essays and other
student educational materials represented 4,603 files,
and literary works accounted for 2,516 documents.

Pacific Epoch

GS removes from conviction buy list, but raises PT to $500

The new street high price target. A 6-month target.
The firm is still positive on the Baidu citing "better
China advertising trends, US and China internet peer
re-rating, and our belief that paid leads and revenue
per click can both double over several years, while
customer adds can accelerate toward's

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New mobile touchscreen Chinese input method

Baidu is planning to launch its new Chinese input
method product based on mobile phone terminals
on November 25, 2009. This new input method
will reportedly support several different ways of
Chinese writing, including Pinyin. In addition, the
new input method has a large vocabulary, which is
apparently 40% more than that of existing input
methods. Baidu said its input method has a strong
"do it yourself" ability and users can create their
own input methods by customizing the appearance,
operating habit, and vocabulary. It also features
powerful networking functions, which enables online
backup of vocabulary base and online updating of
popular new words.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Document sharing on Q&A channel

"Baidu knows" now lets users publish documents online,
which others can download. The documents can be in one
of the common formats - .doc, .txt, .pdf... Baidu expects
users to upload theses, articles, published papers, test
banks, courseware and the like. About five thousand
documents have been uploaded already. The system
works with a points system, with those who upload
earning points which can be redeemed toward downloads.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Game site,, to be operated by

Baidu plans to contract up to ten employees from game
portal to take charge of operation and
maintenance of Baidu's game channel,, reports Sina quoting an unnamed
insider. Baidu will retain responsibility for ad sales
on the portal, with taking a small share of
ad revenue, said the report. The new Baidu game
channel is expected to go online on Wednesday with
a notice that it is "powered by," said the

South China HQ in Shenzhen (Guangzhou's twin city)

The company intends to locate its South China
headquarters in Shenzhen and expand its business
in Southeast Asia in the future, reports Shenzhen
Special Zone Daily quoting Li during an October 8
visit to Shenzhen.

Embedded MP-3 player

Baidu may embed a music player, to play tracks which
show up in search results. The product has not been
officially announced.

Moving to new Headquarters this week

Baidu's 7000 employees will be moved to their new
headquarters this week. November 17th, Robin Li's
birthday and the tenth anniversary of Baidu's founding,
will be celebrated at the new HQ.

Eddie Lung(BofA-Merrill Lynch) maintains PT of $455

Met with Baidu management at their China Investment

Management says they have better monetization in the right
hand side and top left corner of the result page, both managed
by Phoenix Nest. They are confident of better positive results
after a couple of quarters of transition, as Phoenix Nest is
extended to the main monetization area, left hand side of the
search results page.

Some smaller clients do not want to migrate to Phoenix Nest.
Some big advertisers are not ok with two systems for the two
parts of the page. Some negative impact from some customers
not switching immediately, some customers budgeting less
money initially while waiting to see how things work out, and
system optimization. ML believes the impact will be mostly in
1Q10,with residual in 2Q.

Baidu is managing costs closely during the transition. While
they are still hiring graduates, there are no salary hikes, since
there is less competition because of the downturn. Rental
costs are lower because of the move to an owned building. The
budget for the Japan startup was $25 to 30 mln for 2009 of
which only $17.5 has been spent in 3 quarters. That provides
operating leverage to offset TAC costs from traffic from
partnered websites.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Baidupedia entries to become more authoritative

Baidu is cooperating with owners of well-known brands,
professional organizations, and higher-education
institutions to make its Wikipedia entries more professional,
authoritative and credible. Such pages are going to display
a certification logo from a reputed authority on the

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Branding campaign on TV and Internet

Baidu will be advertising on TV and to
promote its brandname. The theme is that every
dream can be followed through its search engine.
The ads will emphasize how search is becoming
a part of daily life, and how it changes the way
we behave. The clip is 48 seconds long.

Baidu ad campaign

Nomura maintains "reduce" rating and PT of $311.30

Monday, November 2, 2009

Teaming up with Qtrax for ad-supported music download model

Qtrax announced today that Baidu has agreed
to direct music related search inquiries from its
Entertainment Portal, and Qian Qian Music Online
sites to Qtrax's independent, free and legal
download service, wherever Qtrax has the queried
artist or song in its catalogue.

Allan Klepfisz, President and CEO of Qtrax, commented:
"We are very pleased with Baidu's decision. As the
dominant search engine in China, Baidu will provide us
with substantial traffic from its music and entertainment
portals. We, in turn, will provide the visitors they send
to our independent free and legal site, a superior music
discovery and download experience. In the coming weeks,
we will progressively launch in each of nine Asia-Pacific
countries and begin to divert and monetize traffic - for
the benefit of artists and copyright holders - that
previously found its way to non-licensed sites. We
believe our offering, including information about the
artists, is vastly superior to these unauthorized sites."

Jay Berman, Co-Chairman of the Qtrax Advisory
Board and former Chairman of both the RIAA and IFPI,
observed: "As someone involved in fighting music piracy in
China for more than 20 years, I believe this represents an
important first step. It is a very positive development in
the long standing fight against online music piracy in China."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Personalized homepage, video suggestions releases

Baidu now allows users the customize their baidu account
homepage. The company calls it a next-generation IT highway
entrance. It connects Baidu's various search products, and
third-party service extensions, seamlessly on one page.

Baidu has also updated video search to push most-popular
videos to the user's page. The videos are going to be chosen
based on the user's search and browsing history.