The Baidu Search engine is described by CEO Robin Li as being about the size of eBay, and as one of the best performing of all stocks, not just Internet stocks. As 420 million people in China use Baidu, he describes how the company answers more queries in China than any other search engine in any other market, including Google in the United States. Robin relates how he never knew search could be that profitable; he just likes search technology and helping people search.
Several years ago, Robin wrote a page-rank algorithm that he patented through the US Patent Office. He describes how, before the term "Web 2.0" was coined, Baidu started user-generated content and other community initiatives. He also addresses the role of mobile phones in China, and what he referred to as "box computing" and its role in search delivery.
Robin explains how Baidu is able to be a company with an entrepreneurial culture in China, and shares his perspective on how to compete in the Chinese market. In this interview moderated by John Battelle, founder and chairman of Federated Media Publishing, Robin Li also hints at what factors would result in Baidu expanding internationally including into the US market.
Robin Li is the Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Baidu, Inc., and oversees the company’s overall strategy and business operations. In the nine years since founding Baidu in January 2000, Robin Li has turned the company into the largest Chinese search engine, with over 70% market share, and the third largest independent search engine in the world. In 2005, Baidu completed its successful IPO on NASDAQ, and in 2007 became the first Chinese company to be included in the NASDAQ-100 Index.
Prior to Baidu, Robin Li was already regarded as one of the world’s top search engine experts. His hyperlink analysis, patented in 1996, is among the inventions that shaped today’s search engine technology. Robin Li worked as a staff engineer for Infoseek, a pioneer internet search engine company, from July 1997 to December 1999, and as a senior consultant for IDD Information Services from May 1994 to June 1997. Robin received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Management from Peking University in 1991, and a Master of Science Degree in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1994.
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