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

Table of Contents

regulations. We cannot assure you that the PRC regulatory authorities would find that our corporate structure and our business operations comply with PRC laws and regulations. If the PRC government finds us to be in violation of PRC laws and regulations, we may be required to pay fines and penalties, obtain certain licenses or permits and change, suspend or discontinue our business operations until we comply with applicable PRC laws and regulations.

Regulations on Value-Added Telecommunications Services and Internet Content Services

Internet content services. The Telecommunications Regulations promulgated by the PRC State Council in September 2000 categorize all telecommunication businesses in the PRC as either basic or value-added. Internet content services, or ICP services, are classified as value-added telecommunication businesses. Pursuant to the Telecommunications Regulations, commercial operators of value-added telecommunications services must first obtain an operating license from the MIIT or its provincial level counterparts. The Administrative Measures on Internet Information Services, also promulgated by the PRC State Council in September 2000, require companies engaged in the provision of commercial internet content services to obtain an ICP license from the relevant government authorities before providing any commercial internet content services within the PRC. “Commercial internet content services” generally refer to provision of information service through public telecommunication network or internet for a fee. The Catalog of Classification of Telecommunications Services promulgated by the MIIT in December 2015 and taking effect from March 1, 2016 further divides ICP services into information publication platform and delivery services, information search and inquiry services, information communities platform services, instant message services, and information securities and management services. We do not believe our P4P services conducted by our certain PRC subsidiaries are categorized as part of internet content services that require an ICP license under these regulations. Although Baidu Online conducts part of the P4P business by, among other things, examining and filtering P4P keywords, interacting with potential P4P customers, engaging in sales activities with our customers, P4P search results are displayed on the websites operated by Baidu Netcom, including Baidu.com. Baidu Netcom, as the owner of our domain name Baidu.com and holder of the necessary licenses and approvals, such as an ICP license, operates the website to list P4P search results and display other marketing and advertising content as an online advertising service provider.

The Administrative Measures for Telecommunication Business Operating License, promulgated by the MIIT with latest amendments becoming effective in April 2009, set forth the types of licenses required for value-added telecommunications services and the qualifications and procedures for obtaining such licenses. For example, a value-added telecommunications service operator providing commercial value-added services in multiple provinces is required to obtain an inter-regional license, whereas a value-added telecommunications service operator providing the same services in one province is required to obtain a local license.

Content regulation. National security considerations are an important factor in the regulation of internet content in China. The National People’s Congress, the PRC’s national legislature, has enacted laws with respect to maintaining the security of internet operation and internet content. Under these laws and applicable regulations, violators may be subject to penalties, including criminal sanctions, for internet content that:



opposes the fundamental principles stated in the PRC constitution;



compromises national security, divulges state secrets, subverts state power or damages national unity;



harms the dignity or interests of the state;



incites ethnic hatred or racial discrimination or damages inter-ethnic unity;



undermines the PRC’s religious policy or propagates heretical teachings or feudal superstitions;



disseminates rumors, disturbs social order or disrupts social stability;



disseminates obscenity or pornography, encourages gambling, violence, murder or fear or incites the commission of a crime;