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English>>China Business

Baidu urges innovation, work ethic

By Li Qiaoyi (Global Times)

09:08, November 08, 2012

Baidu Inc, China's largest search engine firm, will aim for more investment in new services and innovation amid China's mobile Internet boom, Chinese news portal reported Wednesday, citing an open letter from the company's founder, who made an outcry over obsession with high profit returns.

Pledging a strategic change in the company, Li Yanhong, CEO of Baidu, said in an open letter circulated recently on the company's internal website that Baidu needs to "rectify the underinvestment problem."

The company has made a lot of money over the past few years, but in the current era of rapidly growing mobile Internet, it would be wiser to invest more in new services and innovation than to set sights on high profit returns, Li said.

Li's remarks came after the company's third-quarter fiscal report at the end of October posted net profits of $478.6 million, a rise of nearly 60 percent compared to a year earlier.

Baidu, which has dominated the country's search market since rival Google Inc exited the mainland market in 2010, has been eyeing business opportunities in the mobile Internet arena. It debuted its own smartphone platform based on Google's Android in September 2011, and a year later it also unveiled its push into the mobile Internet browser market.

While vowing more mobile Internet investment, Li also criticized some employees for seeking an easy lifestyle at the company rather than having a strong work ethic. Those "petty bourgeoisie" should leave Baidu now, "or else our great ship will be dragged down," Li said, calling for a tougher corporate "wolf culture" that has some Internet users concerned he is being too hard on already-stressed employees.

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