Old but good link on Baidu:
In its early days, Baidu wasn’t modeling itself on Google. Li and Xu were much more interested in being the next Inktomi, a U.S. firm that powered search on other Web portals and was eventually acquired by Yahoo in 2002 for $235 million. Rather than host an independent site, Baidu licensed its search index to Sina (SINA) and Sohu.com (SOHU), then the dominant portals in China, and charged them each time a user conducted a search. Busy copying Yahoo’s portal business model, those companies didn’t realize search’s potential, concedes Charles Zhang, chairman and CEO of Sohu. “That’s how Baidu captured this opportunity while [we] were not paying attention,” he says.