Baidu: China's Leading Search Engine

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR293
Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 2002-2008
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization :, Inc.
Industry : Internet Software
Countries : China

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

Baidu was founded by Li and Eric Xu (Xu) in 2000. In 1991, Li, a native of the Shanxi province of China, went to the US for higher studies.

After completing his studies, he worked with IDD Information Services between 1994 and 1997, and as a staff engineer at Infoseek , between 1997 and 1999.

Right from the beginning, Li had had a passion for Internet based search and while working at Infoseek he developed a search mechanism called 'Link Analysis'. After this, he was given an assignment to supervise search engine development...

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Google's Loss is Baidu's Gain

According to some industry watchers, one of the reasons for Baidu's rapid growth was, surprisingly enough, its competitor Google. Google began operating in China in September 2000 and offered millions of pages in the Chinese language. It gained popularity owing to its simplicity and ability to carry out searches effectively...

Secret of Success

Baidu positioned itself as a Chinese language search engine which allowed users to find information, products, and services using Chinese. It was a challenging task for it because of the complexity of the Chinese language.

To make search easier for users, it introduced the 'pinyin'search in 2001 that allowed users to type in Chinese keywords using English alphabets when the user was not sure of a written form of a keyword. This gave relevant results and made Baidu's search reliable...

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