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