BAIDU, INC. filed this Form F-3ASR on 06/26/2017
Entire Document

Exhibit 5.1

Our ref    KKZ/302152-000021/11250266v2    

Baidu, Inc.

PO Box 309, Ugland House

Grand Cayman


Cayman Islands    

26 June 2017

Dear Sirs

Baidu, Inc.

We have acted as counsel as to Cayman Islands law to Baidu, Inc. (the “Company”) in connection with the Company’s registration statement on Form F-3, including all amendments or supplements thereto (the “Registration Statement”), initially filed on 26 June 2017 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Act”), allowing for delayed offerings pursuant to Rule 415 of the General Rules and Regulations under the Securities Act. The Registration Statement relates to the issuance and sale from time to time, in one or more series, of debt securities of the Company (the “Securities”). Unless otherwise provided in any prospectus supplement to the prospectus forming a part of the Registration Statement relating to a particular series of Securities, the Securities are to be issued under an indenture dated 28 November 2012 between the Company and The Bank of New York Mellon, as trustee (the “Indenture”).

We are furnishing this opinion as Exhibit 5.1 to the Registration Statement.


1 Documents Reviewed

We have reviewed originals, copies, drafts or conformed copies of the following documents:


1.1 The certificate of incorporation dated 18 January 2000, the certificate of incorporation on change of name dated 2 January 2009 and the third amended and restated memorandum and articles of association of the Company as registered or adopted on 16 December 2008 (the “Memorandum and Articles”).


1.2 The written resolutions of the board of directors of the Company dated 22 June 2017 (the “Resolutions”) and the corporate records of the Company maintained at its registered office in the Cayman Islands.


1.3 A certificate of good standing with respect to the Company issued by the Registrar of Companies dated 24 April 2017 (the “Certificate of Good Standing”).


1.4 A certificate from a director of the Company a copy of which is attached to this opinion letter (the “Director’s Certificate”).


1.5 The Registration Statement.

1.6 The Indenture.


2 Assumptions

The following opinions are given only as to, and based on, circumstances and matters of fact existing and known to us on the date of this opinion letter. These opinions only relate to the laws of the Cayman Islands which are in force on the date of this opinion letter. In giving the following opinions, we have relied (without further verification) upon the completeness and accuracy, as at the date of this opinion letter, of the Director’s Certificate and the Certificate of Good Standing. We have also relied upon the following assumptions, which we have not independently verified:


2.1 Copies of documents, conformed copies or drafts of documents provided to us are true and complete copies of, or in the final forms of, the originals, and translations of documents provided to us are complete and accurate.


2.2 All signatures, initials and seals are genuine.


2.3 The Securities are, or will be, legal, valid, binding and enforceable against all relevant parties in accordance with their terms under the laws of the State of New York (the “Relevant Law”) and all other relevant laws (other than, with respect to the Company, the laws of the Cayman Islands).


2.4 The capacity, power, authority and legal right of all parties under all relevant laws and regulations (other than, with respect to the Company, the laws of the Cayman Islands) to enter into, execute, unconditionally deliver and perform their respective obligations under the Securities.


2.5 There is nothing under any law (other than the laws of the Cayman Islands) which would or might affect the opinions set out below. Specifically, we have made no independent investigation of the Relevant Law.


3 Opinions

Based upon, and subject to, the foregoing assumptions and the qualifications set out below, and having regard to such legal considerations as we deem relevant, we are of the opinion that:


3.1 The Company has been duly incorporated as an exempted company with limited liability and is validly existing and in good standing under the laws of the Cayman Islands.


3.2 The execution, issuance, delivery and performance of the Securities have been duly authorised. Upon the execution, issuance and unconditional delivery of the Securities by a Principal Officer (as defined in the Resolutions) for and on behalf of the Company, the Securities will have been duly executed, issued and delivered on behalf of the Company and will constitute the legal, valid and binding obligations of the Company enforceable in accordance with their terms.


3.3 The statements under the caption “Taxation” in the prospectus forming part of the Registration Statement, to the extent that they constitute statements of Cayman Islands law, are correct in so far as such statements are summaries of or relate to Cayman Islands law.



4 Qualifications

The opinions expressed above are subject to the following qualifications:


4.1 The obligations assumed by the Company under the Securities will not necessarily be enforceable in all circumstances in accordance with their terms. In particular:


  (a) enforcement may be limited by bankruptcy, insolvency, liquidation, reorganisation, readjustment of debts or moratorium or other laws of general application relating to or affecting the rights of creditors;


  (b) enforcement may be limited by general principles of equity. For example, equitable remedies such as specific performance may not be available, inter alia, where damages are considered to be an adequate remedy;


  (c) some claims may become barred under relevant statutes of limitation or may be or become subject to defences of set off, counterclaim, estoppel and similar defences;


  (d) where obligations are to be performed in a jurisdiction outside the Cayman Islands, they may not be enforceable in the Cayman Islands to the extent that performance would be illegal under the laws of that jurisdiction;


  (e) the courts of the Cayman Islands have jurisdiction to give judgment in the currency of the relevant obligation and statutory rates of interest payable upon judgments will vary according to the currency of the judgment. If the Company becomes insolvent and is made subject to a liquidation proceeding, the courts of the Cayman Islands will require all debts to be proved in a common currency, which is likely to be the “functional currency” of the Company determined in accordance with applicable accounting principles. Currency indemnity provisions have not been tested, so far as we are aware, in the courts of the Cayman Islands;


  (f) arrangements that constitute penalties will not be enforceable;


  (g) enforcement may be prevented by reason of fraud, coercion, duress, undue influence, misrepresentation, public policy or mistake or limited by the doctrine of frustration of contracts;


  (h) provisions imposing confidentiality obligations may be overridden by compulsion of applicable law or the requirements of legal and/or regulatory process;


  (i) the courts of the Cayman Islands may decline to exercise jurisdiction in relation to substantive proceedings brought under or in relation to the Securities in matters where they determine that such proceedings may be tried in a more appropriate forum;


  (j) we reserve our opinion as to the enforceability of the relevant provisions of the Securities to the extent that they purport to grant exclusive jurisdiction as there may be circumstances in which the courts of the Cayman Islands would accept jurisdiction notwithstanding such provisions; and


  (k) a company cannot, by agreement or in its articles of association, restrict the exercise of a statutory power and there is doubt as to the enforceability of any provision in the Securities whereby the Company covenants to restrict the exercise of powers specifically given to it under the Companies Law (2016 Revision) of the Cayman Islands, including, without limitation, the power to increase its authorised share capital, amend its memorandum and articles of association or present a petition to a Cayman Islands court for an order to wind up the Company.



4.2 To maintain the Company in good standing under the laws of the Cayman Islands, annual filing fees must be paid and returns made to the Registrar of Companies within the time frame prescribed by law.


4.3 The obligations of the Company may be subject to restrictions pursuant to United Nations sanctions as implemented under the laws of the Cayman Islands and/or restrictive measures adopted by the European Union Council for Common Foreign and Security Policy extended to the Cayman Islands by the Order of Her Majesty in Council.


4.4 A certificate, determination, calculation or designation of any party to the Securities as to any matter provided therein might be held by a Cayman Islands court not to be conclusive final and binding if, for example, it could be shown to have an unreasonable or arbitrary basis, or in the event of manifest error.


4.5 We reserve our opinion as to the extent to which the courts of the Cayman Islands would, in the event of any relevant illegality or invalidity, sever the relevant provisions of the Securities and enforce the remainder of the Securities or the transaction of which such provisions form a part, notwithstanding any express provisions in the Securities in this regard.


4.6 We express no opinion as to the meaning, validity or effect of any references to foreign (i.e. non-Cayman Islands) statutes, rules, regulations, codes, judicial authority or any other promulgations and any references to them in the Securities.

We express no view as to the commercial terms of the Securities or whether such terms represent the intentions of the parties and make no comment with regard to warranties or representations that may be made by the Company.

We hereby consent to the filing of this opinion letter as an exhibit to the Registration Statement and to the references to our name under the headings “Enforcement of Civil Liabilities”, “Taxation” and “Legal Matters” and elsewhere in the prospectus included in the Registration Statement. In giving such consent, we do not thereby admit that we come within the category of persons whose consent is required under Section 7 of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Rules and Regulations of the Commission thereunder.

Yours faithfully

/s/ Maples and Calder (Hong Kong) LLP

Maples and Calder (Hong Kong) LLP