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Google Loses Chinese Exec To Baidu

It’s almost a waste of space to state that Google is a good employer; the fact is widely known, and people all over the world apply there on a regular basis.  However, in a move that may speak to how the search giant is faring in China, an important research executive has gone to work for Baidu after quitting Google within the past couple weeks.

Baidu Closes Above $600 For First Time

To be a Baidu shareholder must be a wonderful thing.  The Chinese company’s stock went up yet again today and was at $608.50 when the closing bell rang, making this the first time it’s ever ended a trading day above $600.

Here are a couple other numbers sure to make other investors jealous: shares of Baidu actually gained 2.29 percent today, which represents a significant increase, not a symbolic tic.  Also, since January 12th (the day Google announced its "new approach to China"), shares are up a whopping 51.91 percent.

Baidu Receives $50 Million To Build Video Site
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The creation of the Chinese equivalent of Hulu is now officially underway.  Providence Equity Partners, which invested $100 million in the original American video site, will give Baidu $50 million to create Qiyi.com.  Qiyi should similarly offer premium content and rely on ad revenue.

Baidu’s Stock Rises On Analysts’ Comments

The odds of Google leaving China appear to have been raised today.  Two financial experts made positive comments about Baidu, and while neither issued any carved-in-stone predictions about its competitor departing, investors are now buying more shares of the Chinese company’s stock.

Motorola Offers Baidu Search To China Mobile Users

Motorola is allowing Internet users in China to use Baidu or other search engines on its handsets with Google’s Android operating system.

Baidu is Google’s chief rival in the search market in China. "Users will be able to select their search experience from a number of providers including Baidu and others, with whom Motorola has signed strategic agreements," the company said.

Baidu CTO’s Resignation Announced

It appears that not all is well (or at least normal) at Baidu.  Last week, the company’s COO abruptly resigned, and today, its CTO followed suit.  Both men cited "personal reasons" for their departures, and Baidu’s made little other information available.

China Responds to Google Situation

Update:  Chinese government officials have responded to Google’s proposed actions. As reported by Bloomberg:

Baidu’s Stock Soars Following Google China News
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Reactions to Google’s announcement about a possible withdrawal from China have been mixed so far; there have been objections from individuals who think its absence will deprive the Chinese people of information, while others approve of what they consider a moral stand.  But Baidu’s investors probably aren’t too conflicted, as the company’s stock imitated a bottle rocket today.

Baidu’s COO Resigns

Several changes in Baidu’s executive lineup occurred today, and fans can take heart in the fact that two of them came about as the result of promotions.  The third is a little more troubling, insofar as Baidu’s chief operating officer resigned "for personal reasons."

Hulu Investor May Help Launch Similar Site In China

An investment group with significant ties to Hulu may now be ready to help a similar site launch in China.  A report’s connected Providence Equity Partners to both Baidu and a new online video destination.

Baidu Readying Mobile App
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All sorts of corporations and individuals have agreed that the mobile market is key in China; many more people can afford Internet-enabled phones than PCs.  Baidu may be onto something, then, as it intends to have an app loaded onto phones before they’re made available for sale.

Baidu Pummeled Following Low Forecast

Baidu shared its third quarter earnings report last night, and the part that actually concerned the third quarter was quite positive – the Chinese search giant reported higher revenues and profits than most experts expected.  Unfortunately for the company, its forecast for the fourth quarter then caused what can only be described as panic.

Baidu Goes Wireless in Japan
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Baidu announced that it has launched a new mobile search service in Japan. The company says Baidu Japan wireless search will build upon the existing Baidu.jp services, which include web search, image search, and video search, and have special features tailored to Japanese users.

The company has already been offering wireless search in its home country China. There, it has partnerships with carriers and all of the major handset manufacturers.

Global Search Market Grows Tremendously YOY

comScore has released some new numbers for the global search market. The highlight of the findings is that the market draws over 100 billion searches per month.

To be more specific, over 113 billion searches were conducted in July. This is a whopping 41% increase from a year ago. Obviously, Google sites received the bulk of these searches.

Google, Baidu Swap Market Share In China
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The second quarter of this year didn’t go so well for Google in China.  According to a new report, the American search giant’s market share shrunk a bit, while that of its Chinese equivalent, Baidu, managed to get larger.

iResearchiResearch found that over three-fourths of all searches in China (specifically, 75.7 percent) were performed using Baidu in the second quarter of 2009.  This represents a gain of 1.6 percent compared to the first quarter.

Baidu Partners With Discovery

Discovery Communications, parent company of the Discovery Channel, and Baidu, China’s largest search engine, have partnered to launch a new website focused on science and technology.

"The launch of discovery.baidu.com represents an important step in building stronger brand awareness and consumer loyalty for Discovery in the key Chinese market," said Greg Ricca, President and CEO, Discovery Networks International.

Baidu Nails Q2 Earnings Report

Baidu, China’s equivalent of Google, released another earnings report last night, and the company’s continuing to impress onlookers at every turn.  Baidu beat analysts’ estimates and made some very positive predictions regarding the next quarter.

Here are the key stats: the company’s revenue climbed 36.7 percent on a year-over-year basis, reaching $160.7 million compared to forecasts of $158 million.  Also, it reported earnings of $1.61 per share, even though analysts only expected to see something like $1.44.

Baidu May Have Acquisitions On The Mind

Baidu is big; its share of the Chinese search market is close to 60 or even 70 percent, depending on which statistics firm you favor.  And Baidu may be set to grow still more, as the company’s CFO, Jennifer Li, seems to be rather open-minded on the subject of making acquisitions.

Google Developing Algorithm To Catch Quitters
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Unhappy Googlers may soon be supplied with about as many muffin baskets, pats on the back, and intriguing projects as they can handle.  Apparently Google’s developing an algorithm to identify which employees are most likely to quit, and it’s acting on the info in an attempt to keep top workers around. 

Analyst Says Google China Still In Trouble
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So much for the time, money, and compromises on censorship Google’s committed in the region thus far.  Plus its new music venture.  An analyst said this morning that Google’s Chinese arm won’t do so well, anyway. 

Google Introduces Music Service In China
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Google has partnered with the major record labels to launch a free online music service in China that is ad supported.

Initially the service will offer 350,000 songs from Warner Music, EMI, Sony Music Entertainment and 14 independent labels. The number of songs will increase to 1.1 million in the coming months, said Gary Chen, chief executive of Google’s partner www.Top100.cn.