Baidu Value Stock - Dividend - Research Selection
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Description of the company
We are the leading Chinese language internet search provider. As a technology-based media company, we aim to provide the best and most equitable way for people to find what they are looking for. We provide our users with many channels to access information and services. In addition to serving individual internet search users, we provide an effective platform for businesses to reach potential customers.
Our business currently consists of three segments, namely, search services, transaction services and iQiyi. Search services are keyword-based marketing services targeted at and triggered by internet users’ search queries, which mainly include our P4P services and other online marketing services. Transaction services include Baidu Nuomi, Baidu Deliveries, Baidu Mobile Game, Baidu Wallet, Baidu Maps and others. iQiyi is an online video platform with a content library that includes licensed movies, television series, cartoons, variety shows and other programs.
Our Baidu.com website is the largest website in China and the fourth largest website globally, as measured by average daily visitors and page views during the three-month period ended December 31, 2016, according to Alexa.com, an internet analytics firm. In addition, our “Baidu” brand is one of the highest ranking brands in China in BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Chinese Brands 2016, a study published by Millward Brown Optimor, a brand strategy research company.
We conduct our operations primarily in China. Revenues generated from our operations in China accounted for approximately 99.5%, 98.9% and 97.8% of our total revenues in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively.
We serve four types of online participants:
Users. We offer Chinese language search on our Baidu platform that enables users to find relevant information online, including web pages, news, images, documents and multimedia files, through links provided on our website. We also offer transaction platforms, such as Nuomi.com, to connect online and offline services provided by third-parties. We provide a broad range of products and services to enrich user experience, including search services, transaction services and iQiyi. Our products and services can be accessed through PCs and mobile devices. We aspire to provide the best experience to our users. To this end, we have invested in advanced technology such as artificial intelligence and deep learning.
Customers. We deliver online marketing services to a diverse customer base operating in a variety of industries. In 2016, we had approximately 982,000 active online marketing customers. Consistent with previously reported numbers, the number of active online marketing customers excluded those for our group-buying and delivery related businesses. Our online marketing customers consist of SMEs throughout China, large domestic companies and Chinese divisions and subsidiaries of large, multinational companies. We have a diverse customer base in terms of industries and geographical locations. Our defined industries in which our customers operate include retail and ecommerce, local services, medical and healthcare, network service, financial services, education, online games, transportation, construction and decoration, and business services. Customers in our top five industries contributed approximately 50% of our total online marketing revenues in 2016. Although we have customers located throughout China, we have a more active and larger customer base in coastal regions, reflecting the current general economic demographics in China.
Customers for our transaction services primarily consist of merchants that act as service providers on our transaction platforms, such as Nuomi.com. The merchants that operate on our transaction platforms mainly cover businesses such as restaurants, hotels and cinemas.
Customers for iQiyi primarily consist of advertisers, who are counted as part of our online marketing customers and subscription users of online video contents.
We reach and serve our customers through our direct sales force as well as a network of third-party distributors across China. As many of our customers are SMEs, we use distributors to help us identify potential SME customers, collect payments and assist SMEs in setting up accounts with us and using our online marketing services. We have also engaged third-party agencies to identify and reach potential customers outside of China. Customers use our products and services through PCs and mobile devices. Mobile revenues accounted for 63.2% of our total revenues for 2016.
Since early May 2016, we have been implementing measures to improve customer quality and foster a healthy environment to enhance user experience and drive long-term sustainable growth. We have taken proactive measures requiring all customers on our platform to submit ICP licenses and verify enterprise bank accounts. The implementation of new and stricter regulations on online marketing and our self-imposed proactive measures will have a short-term impact on our business. We believe these measures will be beneficial in the long term, and we remain confident in our long-term outlook, underpinned by our fundamental value proposition of search and our ongoing investments in technology.
Baidu Union Members. Baidu Union consists of a large number of third-party web content, software and mobile application providers. Baidu Union members can display on their properties our customers’ promotional links that match the content of such members’ properties. Some Baidu Union members also embed some of our products and services into their properties. We allow Baidu Union members to provide high-quality and relevant search results to their users without the cost of building and maintaining advanced search capabilities in-house and to monetize their traffic through revenue sharing arrangements with us. We reward Baidu Union members by sharing with these members revenues as a percentage of total revenues recognized by us. Because we have implemented measures to deliver a better user experience and build a safer and more trustworthy platform for users since May 2016, the revenue contributed by Baidu Union members slightly decreased in 2016.
Content Providers. Our content providers mainly consist of video copyright holders, map data owners, apps owners who list their apps on our app store for users to download, users who contribute their valuable and copyrighted content to our products, and self-media authors such as those who publish their content through Baijiahao accounts. These content providers contribute rich contents and resources to our content ecosystem, and in return we provide a broad platform for them to present their content. If we generate revenue from utilizing third-party contents, we will purchase these contents or share revenue with the content providers based on the terms of pre-agreed contracts.