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March 29th, 2011
06:23 PM ET

Examining Baidu's unique culture

There was a time, maybe four or five years ago, where I thought to myself, "If I read another article about the Google cafeteria, I may have to throw my laptop across the room."  I admit we have an odd obsession with work life at the elite tech companies. Perhaps it is the fantasy that some day my office's mediocre vending machine that is filled with instant noodles and potato chips will metamorphosize into free, fresh salads and quesadillas for all.

When planning New Stream's week-long focus on the  internet in China, I realized that I had no idea what working at a Chinese  internet company was like. Did young college graduates in China dream of a job at Baidu or Tencent? Did the creativity that permeates places like Facebook apply to China's tech giants as well?

Well, CNN's Eunice Yoon went inside Baidu to find out. Check out her refreshing look at life as a worker-bee at a Chinese internet giant. By the way, she told me the canteen there was excellent.Try the hot pot.

[cnn-video url="http://edition.cnn.com/video/?/video/business/2011/03/29/yoon.china.baidu.workers.cnn"%5D
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. fsTrazy

    Tecent and Baidu is all about copying and, to some extend, pirating creativities from MSN, OICQ and Google.. There is no place for facebook either in China, because there is a thing called RenRen.com in China mainland which follows facebook's ideas..
    However, I just can't say that all these works from Tecent, Baidu, Renren are simply copying. They make changes that fit the needs of Chinese mainland netizens, which can be consider a key factor to their success

    March 30, 2011 at 6:07 am | Reply
  2. Neil Cassidy

    I think it's pretty unrealistic for anyone in the media, much less TV reporters, to go into a Chinese company–or any company–and think they're going to understand what is really going on there. The sad thing is, this sort of superficial experiential approach is still better than what she implies is usually done-that is, a report based solely on light reporting and PR-department-driven fluff. Now, at least the PR fluff will be disseminated right there in the middle of the "action."

    March 30, 2011 at 7:00 am | Reply
  3. Oris

    "Baidu was number one even when Google was till in China".

    Well, with all the crippling restrictions from the regime that caused disruptions and outages for Google in China, OF COURSE Baidu would still be number 1!

    A very significant, but omitted, detail.

    March 30, 2011 at 7:53 am | Reply
    • Pencuri

      I don't think collectivism is lsseecariny opposite to individual free expression. In China, collectivism means caring for families and enjoying being together, which does not prevent people from free expression. We probably shouldn't take for granted that individualism is lsseecariny better. If we think the popularity of social media in China is merely because it provides Chinese people a chance for individual thinking, how can we explain that social media is also highly popular in other countries where people have long enjoyed free speech? Are we to some extent exaggerating our stereotypes?Besides, despite the structure of the government and strict censorship, we should still remember that people are not passive robot , they have their individual thinking and agency, so rather than seeing Facebook as a channel for people to be controlled , perhaps it is just the platform that people need to be better informed and connected. Facebook entering China is clearly a commercial decision, but in the mean time, it does facilitate worldwide communication, just as it does for all the other countries worldwide. So I still think it is a good move for Facebook to operate in China.

      April 3, 2012 at 4:26 am | Reply
      • Jimelyn

        So i love the MIUI rom, and the phone looks nice . but IMO WAAAAAY too iphone like. Android gets eonguh crap from apple fan boys a phone that looks just like an iphone but runs android is just not good. lol Again, this is just my opinion but i absolutely love the ROM its my daily driver.

        September 10, 2012 at 5:56 am |
  4. woktoss

    "Tecent and Baidu is all about copying and, to some extend, pirating creativities from MSN, OICQ and Google.. There is no place for facebook either in China, because there is a thing called RenRen.com in China mainland which follows facebook's ideas..
    However, I just can't say that all these works from Tecent, Baidu, Renren are simply copying. They make changes that fit the needs of Chinese mainland netizens, which can be consider a key factor to their success"

    as an avid user of Tencent (QQ) and Baidu, among other popular Chinese social sharing web giants behind the great firewall... they have done an impeccable job reverse engineering , and in some cases, their homegrown versions are far superior than the OG American versions... IMO, their P2P innovations such PPstream and Kugou set a new benchmark.

    March 30, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  5. ErohitoSite

    goeie begin

    May 22, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Reply

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