Baidu Fires Back At Google Claims Of Advantage In China

Baidu CEO Robin Li called Google's decision to leave China a gift and stated his company had to deal with the same restrictions. Speaking at the Web 2.0 conference, Li said "he has more competitors than Google does in the US, including some with direct government sponsorship, and that Western companies aren't seen as public enemies if they decamp," the Financial Times reported.

"When Google had launched its search engine in China, he advised CEO Eric Schmidt to spend at least six months a year in China to better understand the market.

Speaking at a Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco, Li struck a playful note, saying, "Eric did not take my advice. I knew that, eventually, he would hand me a gift, and it happened."

"Baidu reported in October that it had more than doubled its net profits in the third quarter, benefiting from Google's sliding market share," the Global Times reported.

Baidu turned down buyout offers of more than $1bn from Google, Yahoo and Microsoft and now has a stock market value of $40bn, the Financial Times noted.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.