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Weekend thoughts w/e 051008

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Baidu, Google China
Keso wrote this Chinese article a while back Who is Google China’s opponent? He is talking about the difference between Baidu (Nasdaq:BIDU) and Google, and he thinks Baidu has created a brand and a series of products, and consequently built a moat to fend off Google and other competitors.

This is confirmed by gseeker baidu from readers series: “baidu” real estate, “baidu” fashion apparel, “baidu” KTV. Don’t know how Robin Li (Baidu CEO) feels about people using his company’s name? By the way, gseeker is the best blog about Google in China, in my mind.

From my observation China Internet users (compared to US) are generally younger, and their user habbits are also different (more entertainment, less e-commerce, shoppping). In big picture, Baidu and Google are both Internet ad broker/operator, and Wallstreet like to say Baidu is China’s Google. Baidu is more than that. Its local expertise served it well so far.

Buy 2 share of BIDU
(Buy 2 shares of Baidu, says an article of CapitalWeek, full size pic here)

Barrons top 500 companies
It ranks Blackrock, RIM as No. 1 and 2. But the ranking itself (the criteria) does not make much sense to me. Barrons likes to run some non-sense ranking such as this one, and another one couple weeks ago: “Top 100 financial advisors”, which is esentially ranks by the amount of money they manage. That is a measurement of their sales skill, not their portfolio managent skills.

That being said, I like the rankings of 30 best CEOs a while back, which also includes the Blackrock and RIM’s CEO, and my American idol Warren Buffett 🙂

Talking about Buffett, while I was not happy to see the stock dropped quite a bit lately, I found Barrons’ writing about his stock options bet interesting: Barrons suspect some life annuity companies are the buyers of those puts. They need those puts to protect their vast amount of long positions. Because they need to pay their clients at least the amount the clients invested in, even in a bear market. Initially I thought who would buy those kinds of puts, Barrons explaination makes it clear.

Appendix:
Quote Keso: 其实百度的成功,并不完全在于搜索,“更懂中文”之说,不过是个营销策略。MP3搜索从来都不是一个技术问题,百度贴吧已经是中国最大的虚拟社区,百度知道则是最成功的问答式知识社区,Hao123更是把Yahoo!十几年前的思路和模式直接继承下来。百度在众多竞争对手的强劲挑战下,市场份额仍保持增长,品牌形象日益深入人心,是因为百度有一系列适应中国市场现状的产品,这些产品迎合了年轻人、低技术人群的需求,以娱乐、休闲为特色,并逐渐形成一道厚重的围墙,严密地保护着它的核心收入来源──网页搜索和竞价排名。

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