A study on Baidu's corporate social responsibility
Baidu is considered as China’s Google, it is the leading search engine in China, occupying over 70 per cent of the market share. By dominating the market, Baidu becomes one of the most successful IT companies. .
However, by applying Carroll’s three dimensions model of CSR with combining stakeholder management approach into the corporate social performance assessment, it is questionable to say whether Baidu is qualified to be a good corporate citizen. As Baidu’s CSR report doesn’t reveal the most critical issues or related solutions, such as censorship and key word bidding promotion system.
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The CSR concept believes that a corporation should be committed to some certain moral responsibilities beyond economic and legal aspect (Carroll, 1979). According to Carroll’s corporate social responsibility pyramid theory (1991), CSR is made up by four types of responsibilities with a hierarchical distribution. For Baidu Inc., the economic and legal responsibility from the bottom of the pyramid is basically well performed. Besides of the strong dominant market position and huge revenue growth, Baidu’s stock price performance is also pleasing as its actual earnings per share (EPS) had increased from $0.18 in Q4 2009 into $0.45 in Q3 2010 (Munarriz, 2010). Baidu believes that the corporation should comply with local laws and regulations with self-discipline and integrity (2012, p.12). Under this value, Baidu coordinated with Chinese authorities to launch “Sunshine Action” to counter online vicious and false information to prove ‘its resolution to fulfill the statutory and social responsibilities’ (2012, p. 29).
However, it is very complicated to state Baidu’s ethical and philanthropic responsibilities as Baidu has a disgraceful history and public relation crisis. As the major search service provider, Baidu becomes a new online advertising platform. However, Baidu’s business model is very controversial as Baidu not only provides paid web promoting service; it also