Baidu's Search For Growth
While many investors have their attention on Google, it isn't the only technology growth story out there. Believe it or not, there is a market that Google does not dominate: C-H-I-N-A!
Baidu has a strong foothold in China. The search company went public on the NASDAQ four years ago.
I remember when the company IPO'd at the NASDAQ, it feels like just weeks ago. Their celebration party was across the street from the NASDAQ, at the Blue Fin in Times Square. I was lucky enough to be invited… that was when I met Robin Li, Baidu's Chairman & CEO, the company he co-founded in 2000. Li had a very clear vision, knew his target user inside out.
Baidu was the first Chinese company to be listed on the NASDAQ 100 Index back in 2007. Year-to-date, the stock is up more than 200%, compared to the 35% gain on the NASDAQ.
Robin Li spoke exclusively to Maria Bartiromo on the Closing Bell.
Speaking of Baidu's dominance in the home market, Li said it had cornered 76% of the search market share. Li is also optimistic about that potential, saying the "internet population in China surpassed 330 million at the end of June."
Baidu isn't just keeping its focus online, it is taking that rivaly with Google mobile. China is home to the world's greatest number of cell phone users, that surpassed the 700 million mobile subscriber mark in July. Li told Bartiromo that "in the future, mobile will become the main way of internet access." Li also made a bold prediction that Baidu "will more than double the number of mobile phones in China than there are internet users."
Li has his sights on expanding beyond its domestic market in China. Last January, Baidu launched a Japanese search engine and one day hopes to compete with Google on its home turf. Li told Bartiromo that "the U.S. is obviously a huge market but I would like to see Japan succeed first and then think about other markets."
The internet search world is just starting to heat up! We'll just have to see who is the king of search.
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