Bloomberg BusinessWeek has just posted a lengthy profile about Baidu, the Chinese search giant that has beat Google there.
Here’s one interesting clip about how Google’s founders visited Baidu in China, and refused to eat their sandwiches:
From the beginning, Baidu and Google didn’t trust each other. In late 2004, Brin and Page visited Baidu’s offices during a visit to China. Xu says the Baidu team scheduled the meeting during a national holiday when the office would be empty, so the Google executives couldn’t see how many engineers Baidu employed. Brin and Page declined to eat the Subway sandwiches Baidu served for lunch. (James Mi recalls that this was because the Google founders had recently gotten sick from uncooked food in India and were being cautious.) When Brin asked whether the Baidu logo was a dog’s paw, Li corrected him brusquely. (It’s a bear paw.) “We respected Google, but as a company we were competitive and we wanted to make sure they respected us,” says Xu, who left the company in late 2004 and founded a venture capital firm that specialises in biotechnology.