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 represented 70.0% of our total revenues in the three months
ended March 31, 2017.
Since early May 2016, we have been implementing new measures to further 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 Internet Content Provider (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.
Technology and people are critical to our long-term success:
Technology. We focus on research and development and innovation. To stay at the forefront of the internet industry and to achieve
long-term growth and success, we invest heavily in research and development. We operate four research labs under the umbrella of Baidu Research: the Augmented Reality (AR) Lab, the Silicon Valley Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab, the Beijing Deep
Learning Lab and the Beijing Big Data Lab. We established the Baidu Institute of Deep Learning, currently known as the Beijing Deep Learning Lab, in January 2013. We opened the Silicon Valley AI Lab in May 2014, enhancing our research and
development capabilities in Silicon Valley. In August 2014, we and the United Nations announced and started strategic cooperation and jointly established the Big Data Lab. In January 2017, we announced the establishment of our AR Lab focusing on
augmented reality technology. Since September 2016, we have open-sourced our AI platform PaddlePaddle to the global developer community, providing access to Baidu technology in areas of voice and image recognition, natural language
processing, and machine learning.
In 2015, our autonomous driving project at the Beijing Deep Learning Lab reached a key milestone by
completing rigorous fully autonomous tests under a variety of complex environmental conditions. We have been recognized as one of the leading AI innovators globally after investing in AI for many years. In 2016, we established our Autonomous Driving
Business Unit. In April 2017, we announced Project Apollo, our autonomous driving open platform.