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China Daily Website

Baidu open to possible acquisitions

Updated: 2013-03-06 18:48
By Chen Limin (

Baidu Inc, China's biggest search engine, said it is open to acquisitions in the mobile sector as it tries to win an upper hand in the market, a top company official said.

"We prefer to buy rather than to build," Robin Li, chairman and CEO of the company, said in an interview while attending the annual meeting of the CPPCC National Committee.

Li declined to comment on rumors that Baidu is in talks with mobile Web browser marker UCWeb about a possible acquisition.

Baidu dominates China's search market, owning almost 80 percent of the market, especially after rival Google Inc shut down its mainland service and redirected traffic to Hong Kong in 2010.

However, Baidu is far from being the leader in the mobile sector. It is also faced with rising competition from other Internet companies, such as Tencent Holdings Ltd, whose mobile application WeChat has become a hit among Chinese mobile phone users.

Li said that the mobile sector is the future, but it will take "a couple of years" to properly generate income from mobile services. This is the same situation faced by most Chinese Internet companies that see mobile traffic rising but haven't been able to generate much revenue from it.