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Baidu.com CFO: Long-Term Growth Lies in E-Commerce

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The chief financial officer of Baidu.com told CNBC that the China-focused Internet search firm is in the initial phases of a long-term growth story.

"Right now there are about 140 million Internet users in China -- that's roughly an 11% market penetration, so we're still at a very early stage," said CFO Shawn Wang. 

"We only served less than 1% of the potentially addressable market," he said. "E-commerce transactions in China haven't really started to happen yet, and that's where the real growth story starts."

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Baidu.com CFO

Wang said he wasn't sure how long it would be before the Chinese e-commerce market gains traction but estimated that it's likely to take less than five years.

"It will be a gradual process where we will see more and more of China's companies start to understand and embrace the Internet," he said. "There is a lot of potential for us to grow."

Baidu.com, the largest search engine in China with a 62% share of the country's market, recently set its sights on Japan with the launch of Baidu.jp last March.

Baidu's mainland competitors include Internet portals Netease, Sina and Sohu.