20-F
BAIDU, INC. filed this Form 20-F on 03/31/2017
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business and growth of our operations and personnel, we need to continually improve our operational and financial systems, procedures and controls, and expand, train, manage and maintain good relations with our growing employee base. We have experienced labor disputes in the past. Although these disputes were resolved promptly, we cannot assure you that there will not be any new labor dispute in the future. In addition, we must maintain and expand our relationships with other websites, internet companies and other third parties. Our current and future personnel, systems, procedures and controls may not be adequate to support our expanding operations.

We may face intellectual property infringement claims and other related claims that could be time-consuming and costly to defend and may result in an adverse impact over our operations.

Internet, technology and media companies are frequently involved in litigation based on allegations of infringement of intellectual property rights, unfair competition, invasion of privacy, defamation and other violations of other parties’ rights. The validity, enforceability and scope of protection of intellectual property in internet-related industries, particularly in China, are uncertain and still evolving. As we face increasing competition and as litigation becomes more common in China in resolving commercial disputes, we face a higher risk of being the subject of intellectual property infringement claims. We may be subject to administrative actions brought by the PRC State Copyright Bureau and in the most severe scenario criminal prosecution for alleged copyright infringement, and as a result may be subject to fines and other penalties and be required to discontinue infringing activities. Furthermore, as we expand our operations outside of China, we may be subject to claims brought against us in jurisdictions outside of China.

Our search products and services link to materials in which third parties may claim ownership of trademarks, copyrights or other rights. Our audio and video player, Baidu Media Player, enables users to play multimedia files, which may be protected by copyright or other intellectual property rights. In addition, as we adopt new technologies and roll out new products and services, we face the risk of being subject to intellectual property infringement claims that may arise from our use of new technologies and provision of new products and services. Our products and services including those based on cloud computing technology, such as Baidu Netdisk, Baidu WenKu and Baidu Post Bar, allow our users to upload, store and share documents, images, audios and videos on our servers, or share, link to or otherwise provide access to contents from other websites, and we also operate distribution platforms whereby developers can upload, share and sell their applications or games to users. Although we have made commercially reasonable efforts to request users or developers to comply with applicable intellectual property laws, we cannot ensure that all of our users or developers have the rights to upload or share these contents or applications. In addition, we have been and may continue to be subject to copyright or trademark infringement and other related claims from time to time, in China and internationally.

We have been making continuous efforts to keep ourselves informed of and to comply with all applicable laws and regulations affecting our business. However, PRC laws and regulations are evolving, and uncertainties still exist with respect to the legal standards as well as the judicial interpretation of the standards for determining liabilities of internet search and other internet service providers for providing links to contents on third-party websites that infringe upon others’ copyrights or hosting such contents, or providing information storage space, file sharing technology or other internet services that are used by internet users to disseminate such contents. The Supreme People’s Court of China promulgated a judicial interpretation on infringement of the right of dissemination through internet in December 2012. This judicial interpretation, like certain court rulings and certain other judicial interpretations, provide that the courts will place the burden on internet service providers to remove not only links or contents that have been specifically mentioned in the notices of infringement from right holders, but also links or contents they “should have known” to contain infringing content. The interpretation further provides that where an internet service provider has directly obtained economic benefits from any contents made available by an internet user, it has a higher duty of care with respect to internet users’ infringement of third-party copyrights. A guidance on the trial of audio/video sharing copyright disputes promulgated by the Higher People’s Court of Beijing in December 2012 provides that where an internet service provider has directly obtained economic benefits from any audio/video contents made available by an internet

 

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