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July 11, 2022updated 20 Jan 2024 3:34am

What is Baidu?

The lowdown on China's leading search engine

By Tech Monitor Staff

Baidu is China‘s leading search engine and one of the world’s largest technology companies. The company was founded in 2000 by Robin Li and Eric Xu, and it has since grown to become the dominant player in China’s search market.

Image: Shutterstock

What does Baidu do?

Baidu’s core business is providing internet-related services and products, including a search engine for websites, audio files and images. Its search engine is the most popular in China and it handles more search queries than any other search engine globally except Google. Additionally, the company offers a wide range of services such as maps, translation and e-commerce. Baidu also operates a music streaming service and a mobile app marketplace.

In recent years, Baidu has also been investing heavily in artificial intelligence and autonomous driving. The company’s R&D efforts in these areas have led to the development of products such as Baidu’s self-driving car platform Apollo and the Duer AI assistant.

Who owns Baidu?

Baidu is a publicly traded company, and its shares are listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol “BIDU”. The largest shareholders are institutional investors and mutual funds, which together hold a significant portion of the company’s shares. These shareholders include:

  • PRIMECAP Management Co. – 3.36%
  • Dodge & Cox – 2.38%
  • Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. (Investment Portfolio) – 2.11%
  • Atticus Management LLC (Investment Management) – 1.87%
  • Lone Pine Capital LLC – 1.86%

The company’s founders and management also hold a notable share of the company.

Censorship and controversies

Baidu is known to censor search results in accordance with the Chinese government’s censorship policies to limit the spread of information deemed to be politically sensitive or otherwise harmful. The censorship can include blocking certain websites, keywords, and phrases from appearing in search results, and even removing certain pages from the Baidu index.

Baidu has also been criticized for promoting state-approved content in its search results, leading to concerns about the integrity of information and the manipulation of public opinion. Despite this, Baidu is still the most popular search engine in China.

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The author generated this text in part with GPT-3, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model. Upon generating draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.

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