20-F
BAIDU, INC. filed this Form 20-F on 03/31/2017
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revocation of licenses to provide internet content and other licenses and the closure of the concerned websites. In the past, failure to comply with these requirements has resulted in the closure of certain websites. The website operator may also be held liable for the censored information displayed on or linked to the website.

In particular, the MIIT has published regulations that subject website operators to potential liability for content displayed on their websites and the actions of users and others using their systems, including liability for violations of PRC laws and regulations prohibiting the dissemination of content deemed to be socially destabilizing. The Ministry of Public Security has the authority to order any local internet service provider to block any internet website at its sole discretion. From time to time, the Ministry of Public Security has stopped the dissemination over the internet of information which it believes to be socially destabilizing. The State Secrecy Bureau is also authorized to block any website it deems to be leaking state secrets or failing to meet the relevant regulations relating to the protection of state secrets in the dissemination of online information. Furthermore, we are required to report any suspicious content to relevant governmental authorities, and to undergo computer security inspections. If we fail to implement the relevant safeguards against security breaches, our websites may be shut down and our business and ICP licenses may be revoked.

The Anti-Terrorism Law, which took effect on January 1, 2016, further requires internet service providers to verify the identity of their users, and to not provide services to anyone whose identity is unclear or who declines verification. Although the identity verification requirements are already embodied in some internet related regulations, the Anti-Terrorism Law extends these requirements to all types of internet services. The internet service providers are also required to provide technical interfaces, decryption and other technical support and assistance for the competent departments to prevent and investigate terrorist activities.

Although we attempt to monitor the content in our search results and on our online communities such as Baidu Post Bar, we are not able to control or restrict the content of other internet content providers linked to or accessible through our websites, or content generated or placed on our Baidu Post Bar message boards or our other online communities by our users. To the extent that PRC regulatory authorities find any content displayed on our websites illegal, they may require us to limit or eliminate the dissemination of such information on our websites. To the extent that PRC regulatory authorities find any content displayed on our websites objectionable, they may suggest that we limit or eliminate the dissemination of such information on our websites. If third-party websites linked to or accessible through our websites conduct unlawful activities such as online gambling on their websites, PRC regulatory authorities may require us to report such unlawful activities to relevant authorities and to remove the links to such websites, or they may suspend or shut down the operation of these third-party websites. PRC regulatory authorities may also temporarily block access to certain websites for a period of time for reasons beyond our control. Any of these actions may reduce our user traffic and adversely affect our business. In addition, we may be subject to penalties for violations of those regulations arising from information displayed on or linked to our websites, including a suspension or shutdown of our online operations.

Moreover, our compliance with PRC regulations governing internet access and distribution of news and other information over the internet may subject us to negative publicity or even legal actions outside of China. In May 2011, eight New York residents filed a lawsuit against us before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York accusing us of aiding Chinese censorship in violation of the U.S. Constitution. In March 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted our motion for judgment on the pleadings based upon the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint in its entirety. Even though we have won the case, our reputation may be adversely affected among users and investors outside of China.

The discontinuation of any of the preferential income tax treatments currently available to us in the PRC could have a material and adverse effect on our result of operations and financial condition.

Pursuant to the EIT Law, as further clarified by subsequent tax regulations implementing the EIT Law, foreign-invested enterprises and domestic enterprises are subject to EIT at a uniform rate of 25%. Certain

 

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