20-F
BAIDU, INC. filed this Form 20-F on 03/31/2017
Entire Document
 


Table of Contents

were found to infringe upon the patents and were not able to adopt non-infringing technologies, we may be severely limited in our ability to operate our P4P platform, which would have a material and adverse effect on our results of operations and prospects.

Our business may be adversely affected by third-party software applications or practices that interfere with our receipt of information from, or provision of information to, our users, which may impair our users’ experience.

Our business may be adversely affected by third-party malicious or unintentional software applications that make changes to our users’ computers and interfere with our products and services. These software applications may change our users’ internet experience by hijacking queries to our platform, altering or replacing our search results, or otherwise interfering with our ability to connect with our users. The interference often occurs without disclosure to or consent from users, resulting in a negative experience, which users may associate with our platform. These software applications may be difficult to remove or disable, may reinstall themselves and may circumvent other applications’ efforts to block or remove them.

In addition, our business may be adversely affected by the practices of third-party website owners, content providers and developers which interfere with our ability to crawl and index their web pages and contents including applications. The ability to provide a superior user experience is critical to our success. If we are unable to successfully combat malicious third-party software applications that interfere with our products and services, our reputation may be harmed. If a significant number of website owners, content providers and developers prevent us from indexing and including their high-quality web pages and contents including applications in our search results, or if we cannot effectively combat web spam from low-quality and irrelevant content websites, the quality of our search results may be impaired, which may damage our reputation and deter our current and potential users from using our products and services.

We may not be able to prevent others from unauthorized use of our intellectual property, which could harm our business and competitive position.

We rely on a combination of copyright, trademark and trade secret laws, as well as nondisclosure agreements and other methods to protect our intellectual property rights. The protection of intellectual property rights in China may not be as effective as those in the United States or other countries. The steps we have taken may be inadequate to prevent the misappropriation of our technology. Reverse engineering, unauthorized copying or other misappropriation of our technologies could enable third parties to benefit from our technologies without paying us. Moreover, unauthorized use of our technology could enable our competitors to offer products and services that compete with ours, which could harm our business and competitive position. We have in the past resorted to litigation to enforce our intellectual property rights, and may have to do so from time to time in the future. There is no guarantee that the competent courts will accept our claims and rule in our favor. Such litigation may result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and management attention.

Our success depends on the continuing and collaborative efforts of our management team and other key personnel, and our business may be disrupted if we lose their services and are not able to find their successors in a timely manner.

Our success depends heavily upon the continuing services of our management team, in particular our chairman and chief executive officer, Robin Yanhong Li. If one or more of our executives or other key personnel are unable or unwilling to continue in their present positions and we are not able to find their successors in a timely manner, and our business may be disrupted and our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected. Competition for management and key personnel is intense, the pool of qualified candidates is

 

14