~article~ Google offloads Baidu investment

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From http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5108778.stm

Google has sold its stake in rival Chinese internet search firm
The US company confirmed that it had disposed of its 2.6% holding in
Baidu - acquired before the latter's 2005 stock market flotation - on

Baidu is the leading web search firm in China, a market in which
Google lags behind the domestic provider.

Analysts always saw Google's purchase of Baidu shares as a strategic
move and Google said it now wanted to focus on its own Chinese

China is the world's second largest internet market, with more than
100 million users.

Google and other foreign firms see huge potential for growth in China
but their willingness to censor access to politically sensitive
material, to comply with government demands, has attracted fierce
According to US regulatory documents, Google made a substantial profit
on its investment in Baidu.

It sold its holding for more than $60m, having acquired the shares for
just $5m last year.

Baidu's shares were valued at $27 each when the firm floated last year
and are currently trading at about $80 each.

"It has always been our goal to grow our own successful business in
China and we are very focused on that," Google spokeswoman Debbie
Frost said, confirming the share sale.


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