updated 06:55 pm EDT, Wed April 2, 2008
Baidu poaches Apple
Baidu.com, the leading Chinese search engine, has hired Apple Inc's head of China operations for the role of chief operating officer. Reuters reports that Peng Ye, who oversaw all business operations in China for Apple as the U.S. firm's country general manager, is joining Baidu, right after ex-General Motors executive Jennifer Li accepted the post of chief financial officer. Ye will officially joing the company on April 25. Baidu is bigger than Google in China, the number 2 Internet market in the world behind the United States.
In early February, Baidu faced sanctions over music piracy. Three of the four major labels -- Warner, Universal and Sony BMG -- have filed a request in a Beijing court, asking that Baidu pull down links to illegal music. Specifically, the labels allege that Baidu is indexing illegal hosting sites, while simultaneously profiting from advertising. Music trade group IFPI claims that piracy in China has dramatically hurt its own profits, with over 99 percent of tracks in the country said to be distributed illegally.