BAIDU, INC. filed this Form 20-F on 03/31/2017
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because a substantial portion of our assets consists of cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments, high inflation could significantly reduce the value and purchasing power of these assets. We are not able to hedge our exposure to higher inflation in China.

Foreign Currency

The average exchange rate between U.S. dollar and RMB has declined from RMB8.2264 per U.S. dollar in July 2005 to RMB6.9198 per U.S. dollar in December 2016. As of December 31, 2016, we recorded RMB2.0 billion (US$291.3 million) of net foreign currency translation loss in accumulated other comprehensive income as a component of shareholders’ equity. We have not hedged exposures to exchange fluctuations using any hedging instruments. See also “Item 3.D. Key Information—Risk Factors—Risks Related to Doing Business in China—Fluctuation in the value of the RMB may have a material and adverse effect on your investment.” and “Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk—Foreign Exchange Risk.”

Critical Accounting Policies

We prepare financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, which requires us to make judgments, estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of our assets and liabilities and the disclosure of our contingent assets and liabilities at the end of each fiscal period and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during each fiscal period. We continually evaluate these judgments and estimates based on our own historical experience, knowledge and assessment of current business and other conditions, our expectations regarding the future based on available information and assumptions that we believe to be reasonable, which together form our basis for making judgments about matters that are not readily apparent from other sources. Since the use of estimates is an integral component of the financial reporting process, our actual results could differ from those estimates. Some of our accounting policies require a higher degree of judgment than others in their application.

The selection of critical accounting policies, the judgments and other uncertainties affecting application of those policies and the sensitivity of reported results to changes in conditions and assumptions are factors that should be considered when reviewing our financial statements. For further information on our significant accounting policies, see Note 2 to our consolidated financial statements. We believe the following accounting policies involve the most significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our financial statements.

Consolidation of Affiliated Entities

In order to comply with PRC laws and regulations limiting foreign ownership of or imposing conditions on value-added telecommunication services, internet, value-added telecommunication-based online advertising, online audio and video services and mobile application distribution businesses, we operate our websites and conduct our value-added telecommunication-based online advertising, online audio and video services and mobile application distribution businesses through our affiliated entities in China by means of contractual arrangements. We have entered into certain exclusive agreements with the affiliated entities through our subsidiaries, which obligate them to absorb a majority of the risk of loss and receive a majority of the residual returns from the affiliated entities’ activities. In addition, we have entered into certain agreements with the affiliated entities and the nominee shareholders of affiliated entities through our subsidiaries, which enable us to direct the activities that most significantly affect the economic performance of the affiliated entities. Based on these contractual arrangements, we consolidate the affiliated entities as required by SEC Regulation SX-3A-02 and ASC topic 810, Consolidation, because we hold all the variable interests of the affiliated entities through the subsidiaries, which are the primary beneficiaries of the affiliated entities. We will reconsider the initial determination of whether a legal entity is a consolidated affiliated entity upon certain events listed in ASC 810-10-35-4 occurred. We will also continuously reconsider whether we are the primary beneficiaries of our affiliated entities as facts and circumstances change. See “Item 3.D. Key Information—Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure.”