Baidu: milestones in the corporation’s development
The Chinese IT corporation Baidu provides various web services, including the country’s leading search engine. The company is focused on the PRC market, which accounts for 98% of its revenue. Baidu has made regular attempts to enter other countries but has not been as successful as it has been at home.
The company’s founders are Robin Li and Eric Xu, both educated at U.S. universities. Before founding Baidu, Li worked at IDD Information Services from 1994 to 1997, where he developed software for the electronic version of The Wall Street Journal. He also developed the page ranking algorithm, which was launched two years before Google. This technology became the basis for the Baidu search engine.
Lee and Xu registered their company in 2000, with a seed capital of $1.2 million provided by several American venture capital funds. The name Baidu means “100 times” and was taken from an ancient Chinese poem. A year later, the company received $10 million in funding from venture capitalists. At the same time, the search engine introduced monetization: Baidu began earning profits from user clicks on ads. Chinese developers were able to implement this revenue model earlier than their counterparts at Google. Since 2003, Baidu has had a photo and news search function. Not surprisingly, just 4 years after its launch, the search engine took the lead in the Chinese market.In 2005, Baidu conducted an initial public offering on the NASDAQ stock exchange in the United States. On the first day of trading, the shares rose four times from the opening price. It was the record of the decade. In addition, two years after the IPO, the company became the first among the representatives of the Chinese market, whose shares were included in the main index of the American site.
A serious incident for the search engine was a large-scale attack by hackers from Iran in 2010. Fraudsters have redirected all traffic to another resource, as a result of which Baidu has suffered significant losses. This situation forced programmers to pay more attention to the protection of the portal.
Since 2012, the company has been engaged in the development of cloud technology, in partnership with the corporation Qualcomm has launched a cloud, where users of Android on the processor Snapdragon could store their data for free. At the same time, Baidu acquired iQIYI, which specialized in online video.
In 2017, the corporation launched a platform for drones, where autonomous transportation projects could be developed, both hardware and software. Four years later, Baidu unveiled its Robocar unmanned car, which was developed in collaboration with carmaker Geely.