Baidu, a Chinese-language search site, has hired Peng Ye away from Apple Inc.is China business. Mr. Ye served as Appleis general manager in China, overseeing all of the companyis operations in that country. He joins Baidu as Chief Operating Officer.
"We are pleased to have Mr. Peng Ye joining us as chief operating officer," Robin Li, Baiduis chairman and chief executive officer said in a statement. "With his years and wide range of experiences in sales, marketing and business operations management, as well as software development in the IT and telecom industries, Peng is a strategic addition to our management team. We are confident that Peng will make significant contributions to Baiduis future as we extend our leadership position in the Chinese language Internet search market and broaden our product and services offerings to new and existing users."
Baidu also recently headhunted in the States to hire Jennifer Li away from GMAC to serve as Chief Financial Officer for the company.
Chinais Internet-related industries have been among the fastest growing in the world in recent years, despite heavy government censorship and controls intended to keep information deemed threatening to the Chinese government out of the hands of its people. Those efforts at control have embroiled both Yahoo! and Google, for instance, in controversy after it was learned that both companies had cooperated with the Chinese governmentis censorship efforts.
As for Apple, the Cupertino-based company has never had a strong presence in China, despite Mac OS Xis abilities to handle the Chinese language. As noted in an IDG News Service report from 2006, Appleis main impediment to computer sales-growth in the country is price, though the company manages to sell a few iPods. China has also been a market for many grey market iPhone sales.
Apple does, however, have much of its manufacturing outsourced to Chinese companies. In 2006, the company faced allegations that iPod factory workers at a factory owned by Foxconn were subjected to substandard working conditions. Those allegations led to an audit of worker conditions by Apple, and that audit found violations of overtime rules, and other issues.