Google Inc said it has sold its stake in Chinese rival Baidu.com (
Google registered to sell all of the 749,625 shares of Beijing-based Baidu.com Inc it owns, according to a Tuesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The filer of such a document is granted permission to sell the shares within 90 days after the registration.
Google snapped up about 2.6 percent of Baidu.com's outstanding Class A ordinary shares for approximately US$5 million prior to the Chinese search engine's initial public offering last year.
The shares are valued at more than US$60 million, based on Baidu.com's current stock price.
Baidu.com, often called the ``Chinese Google,'' went public last August. Its US depositary shares hit a high of US$151.31 on their first day of trading, up from the IPO price of US$27 each. The shares fell to a low of US$44.44 each on Feb. 6.
In related news, Google started offering commercial videos online for free to attract more users and advertisers seeking to reach them.
The videos, including episodes of The Charlie Rose Show and films such as Billy the Kid, are available for free and are sponsored by advertisers, Google said today on its Web site.
Google started selling television shows online in January, charging users a fee for each episode. The free videos usually sell from US$0.30 to US$14.99, Google said.
The free videos are displayed alongside a small text ad and the logo of the sponsor. Initial sponsors include computer-maker Hewlett-Packard Co, online video rental site Netflix Inc and Burger King Holdings Inc, the second-biggest US hamburger chain.
Users can also click to see video advertisements from the sponsors. Google is only making a selection of its videos available for free. Shows such as CBS Corp's Survivor still cost US$1.99 an episode.
Making shows available for free may spark new competition for Apple Computer Inc's iTunes Music Store, which began selling videos online in October.
Apple charges US$1.99 per episode for shows such as Desperate Housewives, made by Walt Disney Co's ABC.
Google's move, reported yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, highlights how media companies are searching for workable business models to sell video content online.
Disney, the second-biggest US media company, in April announced a test for making primetime ABC shows available online for free.
The shows are funded by advertising that users aren't able to skip.
NO CONSENSUS YET: Local governments and the CECC have agreed to change the ‘3+4’ self-isolation policy, but are still mulling what to replace it with The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) and local governments have agreed to ease restrictions on close contacts of COVID-19 cases, although the details are still being discussed, the center said yesterday. The discussions follow Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Saturday approving a proposal to shorten the “3+4” policy — three days of home isolation followed by four days of self-disease prevention — for close contacts who have received booster doses. “We did not reach a consensus on how to revise the current restrictions, but we all agreed that the administrative burden must be reduced and the intensity of restrictions must be eased,
OPPOSING CHINESE ‘HOSTILITY’: The bill orders the state secretary to create a plan to regain observer status for Taiwan, saying Taipei is a model contributor to world health US President Joe Biden on Friday signed a bill into law to help Taiwan regain observer status at the World Health Assembly (WHA), demonstrating Washington’s support for Taiwan’s international participation. Friday was the deadline for Biden to sign the bill (S.812), which directs “the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization (WHO), and for other purposes.” The 75th WHA, the decisionmaking body of the WHO, is scheduled to meet in Geneva, Switzerland, from Sunday next week to May 28. The bill, introduced by US Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the US Senate
REACHING OUT: President Tsai expressed condolences to the deceased man’s family and wished a speedy recovery to those who were wounded in the shooting The Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) on Monday called on the US to label organizations associated with the suspect in the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church shooting as domestic terrorists, following accusations that he was a member of a group backing unification with ties to the Chinese government. David Wenwei Chou (周文偉), 68, was arrested on Sunday and is being held in lieu of US$1 million bail at the Orange County Intake Release Center over a mass shooting at the California church that left one dead and five wounded. Local police suspect the shooting was politically motivated after they found notes in
‘DAMOCLES SWORD’: An Italian missionary said the arrest of cardinal Zen is a blow for the church in Hong Kong, China and the world, signaling great danger ahead China yesterday defended the arrest of a 90-year-old Catholic cardinal under Hong Kong’s National Security Law, a move that triggered international outrage and deepened concerns over Beijing’s crackdown on freedoms in the territory. Retired cardinal Joseph Zen (陳日君), one of the most senior Catholic clerics in Asia, was among a group of veteran democracy advocates arrested on Wednesday for “colluding with foreign forces.” Pop singer Denise Ho (何韻詩), veteran barrister Margaret Ng (吳靄儀) and cultural studies academic Hui Po-keung (許寶強) were also arrested, the latter as he attempted to fly to Europe to take up an academic post. Cyd Ho (何秀蘭), a democracy