Summary of Baidu’s 17-Year Product History

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Baidu’s 17-Year Product History summary
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Baidu, China’s go-to search engine and one of the country’s largest tech corporations, was the first Chinese company to be listed on NASDAQ. In the third quarter of 2016, however, Baidu’s revenue growth rate hit an all-time low, decreasing 0.7% from the previous year – the first negative growth since the company went public. Its market value fell to $60.7 billion in the third quarter of 2016, compared to Alibaba’s $260.7 billion and Tencent’s $255.9 billion. Huang Youcan and Fan Xiaojun of tech education company Sanjieke present Baidu’s 17-year product history to help readers understand how Baidu rose to the top and what caused it to struggle. getAbstract recommends their article to entrepreneurs and people curious about Internet giants.

About the Authors

Huang Youcan is the founder of Sanjieke, an education-focused technology company that offers online classes for product managers and operations managers. Sanjieke organizes offline events and publishes insights and analysis of the tech industry. Fan Xiaojun is a former student and contributing writer for Sanjieke.



Robin Li founded Baidu on January 1, 2000. Li saw the market potential of bringing technology similar to Google and Yahoo to China, where Internet usage was not widespread at the time. The company began as a copycat of California-based Inktomi, providing Internet companies, including Sina and Sohu, with software to manage their websites. After the dot-com bubble burst, Li changed his strategy and launched as a search engine service for end users. He adopted search engine Overture’s business model, in which advertisers bid against one another for a higher ranking on search result listings. Baidu’s search engine became the foundation of the company, bringing in both profit and a strong stream of user traffic that the company could direct toward new products.

At first, Google remained the leading search engine in China, but Baidu used aggressive strategies to fight its archrival for market share. Baidu demonstrated its deeper understanding of Chinese consumers by launching services that met the specific needs of Chinese users. For example, Baidu’s Internet Explorer Search Companion...