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Baidu (BIDU) Guide: Baidu IPO, Baidu MP3 Search and more

Baidu: Introduction
Baidu ( 百度 ) (NASDAQ: BIDU) is a Chinese search engine. Its design resembles that of Google. Baidu features the capability to search news and images, among other functionality. Approximately 45% of all internet searches in China are conducted by Baidu. China is the second largest online market, with over 100 million internet users. As of July 2005, Baidu is the sixth most visited site on the Internet.

Baidu MP3 Search
Perhaps the most popular feature about Baidu that Google does not support is the MP3 search. Baidu's MP3 search is very similar to Google's image search, however, it searches for MP3/WMA/SWF files instead of image files. Baidu MP3 search is mainly used for Chinese Pop Music, and the search results are surprisingly accurate. While sharing MP3 copies of copyrighted material is illegal in most of the world, Baidu can provide this as the Chinese law doesn't prohibit putting music on the internet, and Baidu is under Chinese law.

Baidu's (BIDU) IPO
Baidu.com had its initial public offering (IPO) the morning of Friday, Aug 5, 2005. Baidu.com opened at $27/share. At the close of NASDAQ trading on Friday, Baidu.com shares closed at $122.54, up $95.54 from its opening price (a gain of 353%). However, over the next few trading days, Baidu stock pulled back rapidly, closing at $91.75 on August 10. Baidu.com is often called the "Google of China" due to its resemblance and similarity to Google. In fact, Google owns 2.6% of the company and many believe it will one day (soon) attempt to increase its control over the its Chinese “cousin”.

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