Baidu Baike

From New World Encyclopedia

TypePublic (NASDAQ: BIDU)
FoundedBeijing, China, 2000
FounderRobin Li and Eric Xu
HeadquartersFlag of People's Republic of China Beijing, China
Area servedChina, Japan
Key peopleRobin Li (Chair, CEO)
Jennifer Li (CFO)
Ye Peng (COO)
IndustryInternet search
ProductsSearch engine
ServicesInternet search services
Revenue¥1.74 billion (2007) (about $228 million) Green Arrow Up (Darker).png
Operating income¥547.15 million (2007) Green Arrow Up (Darker).png
Profit¥628.97 million (2007) Green Arrow Up (Darker).png
SubsidiariesBaidu, Inc. (Japan)
Available inChinese
Japanese (
LaunchedOctober 11, 1999
Current statusActive

Baidu (Chinese: 百度; pinyin: Bǎidù) (NASDAQ: BIDU) is the leading Chinese search engine for websites, audio files, and images. Baidu offers 57 search and community services including an online collaboratively-built encyclopedia (Baidu Baike), and a searchable keyword-based discussion forum.[2] As of March 21, 2008, Baidu is ranked 19th overall in Alexa's internet rankings.[3] In December 2007 Baidu became the first Chinese company to be included in the NASDAQ-100 index.[4]

Baidu Baike (Chinese: 百度百科; pinyin: bǎidù bǎikē; translation: Baidu Encyclopedia) is a Chinese language collaborative Web-based encyclopedia provided by the Chinese search engine Baidu. The test version was released on April 20, 2006 and within three weeks the encyclopedia had grown to more than 90,000 articles. By November 2006, Baidu Baike held more articles than any edition of Wikipedia with the exception of English Wikipedia, rivaling those of German Wikipedia. At that time, its growth rate was approximately 50,000 articles per month. Baidu Baike is the second largest online Chinese encyclopedia after Hoodong.

Chinese government enforces strict censorship policies on all forms of communication and publications: search engines such as Baidu, Google, Yahoo, and others; websites; blogs; cellular phones; mass medias such as television, and radios. A number of terms, which the government considers "dangerous," such as "Falun Gong," "Dalai Lama, are all censored. The censorship is called "The Great Firewall of China"[5] by analogy of the Great Wall of China. Those who circulate politically sensitive information are subject to legal action; Amnesty International criticizes China for its lack of freedom of speech[6]


Baidu provides an index of over 740 million web pages, 80 million images, and 10 million multimedia files.[7] The domain attracted at least 5.5 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a scentury.[8]

Many people have asked about the meaning of our name. 'Baidu' was inspired by a poem written more than 800 years ago during the Song Dynasty. The poem compared the search for a retreating beauty amid chaotic glamour with the search for one's dream while confronted by life's many obstacles. '…hundreds and thousands of times, for her I searched in chaos, suddenly, I turned by chance, to where the lights were waning, and there she stood.' Baidu, whose literal meaning is hundreds of times, represents persistent search for the ideal.


Baidu started with a popular music search feature called "MP3 Search" and its comprehensive lists of popular Chinese music based on download numbers. Baidu locates file formats such as MP3, WMA and SWF. The multimedia search feature is mainly used in searches for Chinese pop music. While such works are copyrighted under Chinese law, Baidu claims that linking to these files does not break Chinese law.

Chinese government and industry sources stated that Baidu received a government license which allows the search engine to become a full-fledged news website, which is a first in Chinese government history. Thus, Baidu will be able to provide its own reports besides showing certain results as a search engine. The company is already getting its news department ready. [9]

Baidu has started its own search engine in Japan, found at; and is the first regular service that the company provides outside of China. It includes a search bar for web page and image searches, user help and advanced services.[10]

Baidu's MP3 Search feature has been criticized by the Office of the United States Trade Representative's Special 301 report stating that “Baidu as the largest of an estimated seven or more China-based ‘MP3 search engines’ offering deep links to song files for downloads or streaming.”[11]

Baidu's brand advertising feature can help the advertisers to show a branded message including images to largely increase brand awareness and click-through rate (up to 75percent).[12]


Censorship is extensive in China. A number of terms such as "Falun Gong," "Dalai Lama," and others are filtered in all search engines including Baidu, Google, and Yahoo!, text messaging on cellular phone, blogs, web pages as well as all forms of mass medias. The government is imposing strict internet censorship policies. The censorship is popularly called "The Great Firewall of China"[13] by analogy of the Great Wall of China.

Those who circulated politically sensitive information over the Internet are legally punished and imprisoned. Amnesty International U.S.A. reports on the issue:

The Chinese authorities have introduced scores of regulations to restrict freedom of expression over the Internet and have taken a variety of measures to control and restrict its use. They have also detained or imprisoned people who circulated "politically sensitive" information over the Internet, some of whom are serving long sentences in prison. Amnesty International is calling for their release and for a review of regulations and other measures in China which restrict freedom of expression in a manner going far beyond what would be regarded as legitimate restrictions under international standards. [14]

Advertising scandal

On November 15 and 16, 2008, the state-owned China Central Television exposed during the popular lunchtime 30-minute news that Baidu used fraudulent high-cost-per-click advertisements as its search results; many smaller websites were blocked by Baidu as a result of not opting-in to Baidu's advertising programs.[15] Baidu's share price on NASDAQ shrank by approximately 25 percent following the news release. [16]

On 17 November 2008, Baidu issued an apology which stated, "We put too much effort in competing technically with Google, and in doing so overlooked our advertising system and its management." [17]

Baidu Baike

Baidu Baike
Commercial? No
Type of site Internet encyclopedia project
Owner Baidu
Created by Robin Li


Baidu's William Chang said on the WWW2008 conference in Beijing, 'No reason for China to use Wikipedia', 'It's very natural for China to make its own products.' [18]

Functions of the website

The site is an open Internet encyclopedia espousing equality, collaboration, and sharing.[19] The encyclopedia, with two other services provided by Baidu ("zhidao" and "post"), started in 2005, would form a trinity to complement the search engine. Zhidao is a community driven question-answer posting site, where users can post questions and answers, similar to Yahoo! Answers. Post is a bulletin board system (BBS) where users can post their opinions and engage in discussions on the web.

The articles on Baidu Baike are written and edited by registered users and reviewed by behind-the-scenes administrators before release. There is no formal way to contact the administrators. Registered users' contributions are rewarded in a credit point system. Although the earlier test version was named "Baidu WIKI," official media releases and pages on the encyclopedia itself state that the system is not a wiki. The site does not use MediaWiki, but it continues to use the "wiki" concept now in reality, one example being in the URL[20].

Style and interface

The visual style of the encyclopedia is simple. In articles, only boldface and hyperlinks are supported. Comments are listed at the bottom of each page.

Amongst its wiki-like functions, the site supports editing, commenting, and printing of articles, as well as an article history function.


Users can access multiple extended editing functions, including:

  • An image uploading system where files less than 2 MB can be added to articles in the Encyclopedia.
  • A keyword tagging system called "open category" (similar to folksonomy). One article can be tagged with at most five categories.
  • A separate edit box for references and external links.

Principles of the encyclopedia

Articles or comments containing the following types of content would be removed[21]:

  1. pornographic or violent text or images
  2. advertising
  3. personal attacks
  4. unethical content
  5. malicious, meaningless content


Baidu Baike's copyright policy is outlined in the 'terms of use' section of its help page. In it, Baidu Baike states that by adding content to the site, users agree to assign Baidu rights to their original contributions. It also states that users cannot violate intellectual property law, and that contributions which quote works held under the Creative Commons and/or GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) must follow the restrictions of those licenses.[22]


The number of articles exceeded 10,000 in two days of its launch, and reached 40,000 in six.

Date Number of articles
Year 2006
May 5 82,788
May 21 142,283
July 15 283,417
August 4 314,839
September 9 369,700
October 9 428,000
November 15 489,380
December 13 530,636
Date Number of articles
Year 2007
January 17 578,752
February 15 622,219
March 17 663,487
April 19 706,080
May 23 735,423
August 6 809,921
September 19 863,307
October 17 892,201
November 26 940,429
December 31 982,619
Date Number of articles
Year 2008
January 20 1,004,052
February 20 1,039,906
March 20 1,070,392
April 24 1,115,428
May 27 1,153,565
July 6 1,197,524
September 26 1,286,880
November 22 1,349,621


Baidu Baike has been critized for violating the GFDL when using Wikipedia content. The project has been criticized for violating GFDL copyrights as well as other copyrights such as those belonging to and encouraging plagiarism.[23][24] The project has also been criticized as heavily censoring content critical of the People's Republic of China government and the official government positions.[24]

See also


  1. Company Profile for Inc (BIDU). Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  2. Baidu's 57 Products/Services: Introduction and History. China Analyst ( Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  3. Alexa Web Search - Top 500. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  4. "Baidu search yields success in China". LA Times, 10 December 2007, Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  5. The Great Firewall Of China, Business Week, January 23, 2006. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  7. title=MSN Money - BIDU. MSN Money Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  8. Baidu website. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  9. Google's Lookalike is Expanding in China. 23 January 2007. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  10. China's Google in Japan. 23 March 2007. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  11. 2007 Special 301 Report. Office of the United States Trade Representative. 30 April 2007. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  12. China Search Marketing With Baidu Whitepaper. Rocky Fu's digital marketing blog. 14 April 2008. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  13. The Great Firewall Of China, Business Week, January 23, 2006. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  14. PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: STATE CONTROL OF THE INTERNET IN CHINA, Amnesty International U.S.A. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  15. 央视再查百度竞价排名灰幕:内部员工帮助造假. CCTV 新闻30分 16 November 2008 Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  16. Baidu shares sink, analyst cites Chinese TV report. AP/Associated Press 17 November 2008.
  17. (Chinese original:为了与Google这样全球领先的技术公司进行竞争,百度过多的关注了技术和研发,而对销售运营缺乏严格的管理和系统的投入)百度回应央视曝光问题:我们表示真诚的歉意. SINA (17 November 2008). Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  18. Graham Webster, Baidu's William Chang: 'No reason for China to use Wikipedia'. 2008-04-22, CNET News. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  19. 百度百科 Baidu Baike Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  20. For example, when a keyword is entered and the button "search" is clicked then, it would give a page of a url like this 
    , which has the concert "wiki" included. Re-valid at June 22nd, 2008. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  21. 百科原则. Baike Baidu. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  22. 百度搜索帮助中心-百度百科帮助. Baike Baidu. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
  23. Dan Nystedt Baidu May Be Worst Wikipedia Copyright Violator. 2008-08-26, PC World.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Eva Woo, Baidu's Censored Answer to Wikipedia. 2007-11-13, Business Week. Retrieved December 6, 2008.

ISBN links support NWE through referral fees


  • "Baidu Billionaires Yet to See the Cash." Beijing Review 48(41) (2005): 40-41.
  • "Local Engine Chief's Vision - Baidu and Google Forge Search Engine Alliance." Beijing Review' 47 (2004): 25.
  • "Global Business - Google: Regrouping in China - It Gears Up to Battle Local Rival Baidu.Com." Business Week 43 (2007).
  • "Global Business - The Blastoff of Baidu.Com - Will the Chinese Search Engine's Runaway Stock Offering Start a Flood of Net IPOs?" Business Week (2005): 21.
  • "Out-Googling Google: Chinese Search Engine Baidu Competed Toe-to-Toe with Google and Won. For Western Firms Trying to Establish a Web Presence in China, Understanding How Baidu Plays the Game Could Be Key". Computerworld -Newton then Framingham Massachusetts 41 (18) (2007): 26.
  • "Searching for Supremacy: China's Baidu Takes Lead in Search Engine Race." Beijing Review' 49 (19) (2006): 22-25.

Online sources in English

Online sources in Chinese

External links

All links retrieved August 26, 2023.


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