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

Capitalization and Indebtedness

Not applicable.



Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds

Not applicable.



Risk Factors

Risks Related to Our Business

If we fail to retain existing customers or attract new customers for our online marketing services, our business, results of operations and growth prospects could be seriously harmed.

We generate substantially all of our revenues from online marketing services, a substantial majority of which are derived from our pay-for-performance, or P4P, services. Our online marketing customers will not continue to do business with us if their investment does not generate sales leads and ultimately consumers, or if we do not deliver their web pages in an appropriate and effective manner. Our P4P customers may choose to discontinue their business with us, which are not subject to fixed-term contracts. In addition, third parties may develop and use certain technologies to block the display of our customers’ advertisements and other marketing products on our Baidu platform, which may in turn cause us to lose customers and adversely affect our results of operations. Furthermore, as our auction-based P4P services enable our customers to bid for priority placement of their paid sponsored links, we may lose customers if they find the bidding mechanism not cost effective or otherwise not attractive. Additionally, if our users do not increase their search frequencies on our platform, or our content ecosystem fails to offer rich and quality content that meets users’ tastes and preferences, or our users spend more time with or otherwise satisfy their search demands on competing platforms, or we otherwise experience user traffic decline due to any reason, it would be difficult for us to attract new customers or retain existing customers. Failure to retain our existing customers or attract new customers for our online marketing services could seriously harm our business, results of operations and growth prospects.

In recent years, our revenues from online advertising have increased. We believe our large user base and traffic provide advertisers with a broad reach and optimal monetization results. However, we cannot assure you that we will be able to continue to attract new advertisers or retain our existing advertisers. If our advertisers determine that their expenditures on our platform do not generate expected returns, they may allocate a portion or all of their advertising budgets to other advertising channels, such as television, outdoor media and other online marketing platforms, and reduce or discontinue business with us. Since most of our advertisers are not bound by long-term contracts, they may amend or terminate advertising arrangements with us easily without incurring liabilities. Failure to retain existing advertisers or attract new ones to advertise on our platform may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

We have in the past removed, and may in the future again remove, questionable paid search listings of some customers to ensure the quality and reliability of our search results. Such removal, whether temporary or permanent, may cause the affected customers to discontinue their business with us. We also examine the relevant business licenses and bank accounts of prospective customers prior to business engagement, as a quality control measure. In addition, since early May 2016, we have taken steps to implement measures requested by PRC regulatory authorities, such as modifying paid search practices and limiting the amount of displays. We have also proactively implemented numerous additional measures to deliver a better user experience and build a safer and more trustworthy platform for users, including turning down customers who do not meet our new requirements, creating a customer credibility ranking system and weighing customer credibility more highly in the ranking algorithm, reducing the number of sponsored links, and making upgrades to our user feedback system and user