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Why Baidu Beats Google


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Fair point. But:


The Beijing-based search engine (whose name means "hundreds of times," after a line in an 800-year-old poem) maintains an astounding 70 percent market share. California-based Google trails far behind, with only about 25 percent. As China now has the world's largest (and fastest-growing) Internet community, with 338 million users, market dominance means a whole lot of profit, both now and in the future.


The business world has cottoned on. Baidu's price-to-earnings ratio, a good way to gauge investors' expectations for growth, is double Google's. (Baidu has been listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange since August 2005.) This is in part because China's Internet saturation is only about 25 percent, compared with more than 75 percent on average in OECD countries, like the United States. Meanwhile, Baidu's net income is increasing wildly: 40 percent year-on-year, compared with 18 percent for Google. Every indication points to fast growth and lucrative profit.



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