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How Baidu Won China [businessweek.com]
The world knows Baidu as the search engine that kicked Google's butt out of China, with an assist from the Communist Party. The company has a 73 percent share of the world's largest Internet market by users, and has the fifth-largest market capitalization ($38.3 billion) among the world's pure-play Internet companies, trailing Google (GOOG), Amazon.com (AMZN), Tencent (an instant messaging and gaming company based in Shenzhen), and only narrowly, eBay (EBAY). It's now 57 percent bigger than Yahoo! (YHOO)—and with significantly brighter prospects. Baidu "has the best business in the world," says Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray (PJC). "It's hugely profitable, with massive growth ahead in the population of Chinese Internet users, and the government backing it up. Essentially it's a state-sponsored monopoly."