Baidu, operator of China’s biggest internet search engine, lost a second executive this month. This may weaken the company’s ability to take advantage of the possible exit of its biggest rival Google from the market.
The Beijing-based company yesterday said Chief Technology Officer Li Yinan quit for personal reasons, 10 days after announcing the departure of Chief Operating Officer Peng Ye.
The resignations may be a setback for Baidu at a time when it faces competition from smaller search engines such as Sohu.com.
Baidu had 58.6% of China’s online search market in the fourth quarter, down from 63.9% in the previous three months.
Bloomberg reported Nomura’s Yoon wrote in a report last week that search engines operated by Sohu, a Beijing-based portal, and Tencent are expected to win market share if Google leaves China.