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


Table of Contents
   

challenges in formulating effective local sales and marketing strategies targeting users from various jurisdictions and cultures, who have a diverse range of preferences and demands;

 

   

challenges in identifying appropriate local business partners and establishing and maintaining good working relationships with them;

 

   

dependence on local platforms in marketing our international products and services overseas;

 

   

challenges in selecting suitable geographical regions for international business;

 

   

longer customer payment cycles;

 

   

currency exchange rate fluctuations;

 

   

political or social unrest or economic instability;

 

   

compliance with applicable foreign laws and regulations and unexpected changes in laws or regulations;

 

   

exposure to different tax jurisdictions that may subject us to greater fluctuations in our effective tax rate and potentially adverse tax consequences; and

 

   

increased costs associated with doing business in foreign jurisdictions.

One or more of these factors could harm our overseas operations and consequently, could harm our overall results of operations.

If we are unable to adapt or expand our existing technology infrastructure to accommodate greater traffic, content or additional customer requirements, our business may be harmed.

Our Baidu platform regularly serves a large number of users and customers and delivers a large number of daily page views. Our technology infrastructure is highly complex and may not provide satisfactory service in the future, especially as the number of users and customers increases. We may be required to upgrade our technology infrastructure to keep up with the increasing traffic on our Baidu platform, such as increasing the capacity of our servers and the sophistication of our software. If we fail to adapt our technology infrastructure to accommodate greater traffic or customer requirements, our users and customers may become dissatisfied with our services and switch to our competitors’ websites, which could harm our business.

If we fail to detect fraudulent click-throughs, our customers’ confidence in us could be damaged and our revenues could decline.

We are exposed to the risk of click-through fraud on our paid search results. Click-through fraud occurs when a person clicks paid search results for a reason other than to view the underlying content of search results. Although our anti-spam algorithms and tools can identify and respond to spam web pages quickly and effectively and thus capture and prevent some fraudulent click-throughs, there is no assurance that our anti-spam technology is able to detect and stop all fraudulent click-throughs. If we fail to detect fraudulent clicks or otherwise are unable to prevent this fraudulent activity, the affected customers may experience a reduced return on investments, or ROI, in our online marketing services and lose confidence in the integrity of our systems, and we may have to issue refunds to our customers. If this happens, we may be unable to retain existing customers or attract new customers for our online marketing services, and our online marketing revenues could decline. In addition, affected customers may also file legal actions against us claiming that we have over-charged or failed to refund them. Any such claims or similar claims, regardless of their merits, could be time-consuming and costly for us to defend against and could also adversely affect our brand and our customers’ confidence in the integrity of our systems. We experienced a number of incidents involving fraudulent click-throughs in recent years. Although the amount of revenue involved in these incidents was immaterial, such cases of fraudulent click-throughs, if occurring on a large-scale and widespread manner, may damage the reputation of our search ecosystem.

 

20