Even as Google's making concessions for the sake of staying in China, its chief rival there is in one sense branching out. Baidu announced today that it will hire some American engineers, and although that might not sound too remarkable, they'll actually be the first people the company has hired straight from the U.S.
Zheng Bin, Baidu's human resources director, explained the thought process behind this move by telling Melanie Lee, "Baidu believes that talent is the key to our success as a company, and we go where ever the best talent can be found, whether here in China or in Silicon Valley."
He then hinted that this won't be a one-time occurrence, adding, "As we develop more and more advanced search technologies, our need for world-class talent will only continue to increase."
Anyway, if you'd like to know more about Baidu's near-term plans, it seems that the company intends to find 30 or so new employees at a Silicon Valley job fair scheduled for July 10th. They'll all be software engineers with at least some experience. And it stands to reason they'll be well compensated, although Zheng Bin didn't broach that subject.
This is almost sure to make some people at Google nervous. The company was having a tough enough time competing in China already, with reports putting its market share at half the size of Baidu's (at best).
Good luck to everyone who applies for the open positions, though, since Baidu is currently looking unstoppable in the country.