Baidu CFO Li Says Online Video Offers ‘Tremendous’ Opportunities

Jennifer Li, chief financial officer of Beijing-based Baidu Inc., comments on the company’s acquisition strategy and opportunities in the online video segment. Li spoke in an interview in Beijing today.

“The online video sector carries tremendous business opportunities.

‘‘There is a huge demand for video content and quality. At the same time there is a business model that can help you make this a virtuous cycle. You continue to invest and fulfill the users’ needs and meanwhile you make profit out of it.

‘‘I don’t feel imminent pressure to feel that I have to drive this unit to profitability. Mobile is developing fast. It is important for them to really grow their presence, solidify their market position and go from there.’’

On acquisition strategy:

‘‘Our M&A strategy, we have said in the past, is to build the core competency surrounding our main business, that is search technology, and also to position ourselves for the future so we invest in strategically important areas.’’

On investment rationale:

‘‘Some of the things you need to keep in mind when investing in Internet companies is, often times, you are investing for the future. It’s the strategic fit of what this company can offer, and what we need, and together strategically how that can help us shape the future and build long-term growth is how we really look at potential companies.’’

On advertisement fees on iPads versus PCs:

‘‘The beauty of the tablet is it gives you the kind of user interface experience like PC but it offers Baidu much more information.

‘‘We can drive more targeted information to capture what you are looking for. The click through on a tablet can be very precise. Click through can be much more targeted. What that shows is really encouraging. The mobile monetization potential is huge.’’

— With assistance by Edmond Lococo, and Lulu Chen

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