Chinese search engine Baidu just can’t seem to stay out of the news. Pacific Epoch thinks that Baidu is finally living up to the formerly tongue-in-cheek moniker of “Google of China,” while fool.com likens the growth of the company to a “runaway freight train.” Certainly, there are plenty of reasons behind its phenomenal growth: for one, it copies most of the neat functions and applications that Google has—including a rumored instant messaging application. Called “Baidu Xiaosheng (百度小声)”, no one actually knows if this thing exists or is just another fake cardboard steamed bun. The picture that you see came from a website where you could supposedly download the beta version, but the install file link no longer works. The Baidu public relations say that this so-called “leak” is a hoax, though there are those that believe that Baidu will eventually want to take on Tencent and other internet giants, meaning that an IM client and an email service are just a matter of time. What does seem to be closer to an undisputed fact is that Baidu is the fastest search engine in China according to a report from webpronews.com that measured and compared response times of various search engine websites.
But not all the news has been good. Baidu has run afoul of several lawsuits of late; the first we learned of from Pacific Epoch and involves a 63-year-old Beijinger who has sued the search engine for making available a picture of him which then made the rounds as an internet joke. The man, surnamed Zhang, is actually suing eight different internet portals and search engines, each for the sum of 700,000 RMB (report in Chinese). According to reports, the man suffers from some kind of mental illness, which is why he ties his hair in pigtails and dresses like a peasant woman. The man, pictured here, was part of a series of spoof-type photographs, which you can see here.
For every man that feels the need to dress like a woman, there’s a woman content to wear nothing other than her birthday suits, as is the case with famous model Tang Jiali (汤加丽), who is suing Baidu and demanding that the search engine remove all links to pictures of her. She claims that most of the websites that carry her pictures did so without her permission, a situation exacerbated by the power of search engines such as Baidu (and secondarily, by Google). If you feel the need to be immoral and take a look at pictures of Tang’s boobs, we suggest you discreetly go here.