Baidu chief executive Robin Li said he is planning to expand into new countries and offer more languages to users beyond the dominant Chinese search engine’s two-year-old foray in Japan. 

Speaking for the first time at a US technology industry conference, Mr Li said Baidu also has dramatic room to grow in the company’s home country, which has one-third internet penetration.  He said that only 150m of China’s 800m mobile phones have internet access, and that eventually all will. 

Baidu rejected early buyout offers of more than $1bn from Google, Yahoo and Microsoft and is now enjoying a stock market value of $40bn.  Mr Li said that the stock price, which has made him a billionaire already, is no longer a driver for him.  Rather, he said he wants more users, on smartphones and elsewhere.   One major ambition, he said, was to have a box appear instantly on any internet-connected device that could offer not only search but the ability to publish to the web and to launch applications. He said the company was working on the technology to do just that.   Source:  FT.com Techblog

BIIA Newsletter November II – 2010 Issue