its reach overseas, Internet search company
Google Inc. has taken a minority stake in a
leading Chinese-language search company,
Baidu.com Inc., the Chinese company said Tuesday
Li, Baidu's chief executive, confirmed
reports that Google was among foreign investors
included in a recent overseas fund-raising push
by the privately held Chinese company. But he
would not say how much was raised or how many
shares the investors hold.
does not have a controlling stake," Li told
journalists in a conference call from the
company's headquarters in Beijing.
calls to Google were not immediately returned.
Google is planning to list its shares on the
Nasdaq Stock Exchange later this year. Industry
and Chinese media reports have said Baidu is
also planning to list its shares on the Nasdaq.
Li refused comment on share listing plans.
"My board has not authorized me to disclose
any such information," he said.
is China's biggest independent Internet
search engine and is one of Google's strongest
rivals in China. Its music search tool is
considered one of the country's best.
it faces growing competition both from other
Chinese search engines, such as Sohu.com, and
from foreign giants like Google and Yahoo, which
has an alliance with Beijing 3721 via a Hong
Kong partner of the Chinese Internet service
Google's perspective, it saw Yahoo acquiring
3721 and may have felt prompted to make a
move," said Duncan Clark, managing director
of the BDA China Ltd. consultancy in Beijing.
they're going head-to-head in China," he
said Baidu was hoping its alliance with the
California-based search engine giant would help
improve the Chinese company's technology, build
up its brand name and expand its market share.
both competitors and partners," he said.
"Baidu has a better understanding of the
Chinese market, and we hope to reinforce that
advantage with the money raised overseas."
investment in Baidu does not include
management, Li said.
is a strategic investor. We don't have
cooperation in operations at this stage,"
he said. "We keep our independence in
management. Google does not have a seat on our
government strives to control online access
to information and Web sites it deems
politically sensitive or otherwise unacceptable.
Yet, use of the Internet has continued to climb
as the country embraces computers and other
is hugely popular among China's more than 80
million Internet users because of its
wide-ranging search capacity. It has a
Chinese-language search site, and launched its
AdWords online advertising in Chinese in
February, seeking to expand its own market share
in the fast-growing market.
of Baidu's revenues come from companies that pay
to be listed on its site.
said that for now, Baidu does not plan to
build its own English-language Web site,
although it might consider Korean and Japanese
in the future.
is a huge market. For now, we'll concentrate on
expanding here," Li said.
Chinese, Baidu means "a hundred
times," a phrase taken from a Song
dynasty love poem. Li, who attended university
in the United States and worked in
Internet-related jobs before returning home,
founded the company in 1999.
to reports in the Wall Street Journal and
other U.S. newspapers, Google helped lead
Baidu's recent fund-raising round with venture
fund Draper Fisher Jurvetson ePlanet Ventures.
denied that the fund-raising had brought in $10
million, as reported, but refused to give a
To discontinue mailings, click here