Robin Li was born in the north-eastern of China, from working class family; he is the fourth of five children and the only boy. During high school, he became keen on computer, at the point to take part in programming competitions. In 1987, at final exam, he obtained the best score of his city. Then he entered at Peking University and four years later, he went to Buffalo for his PhD in computer science. In 1994, he interrupted it in order to get his MSc.
In the same year, Li joined the informatics department of IDD, a New Jersey division of Dow Jones & Company. There, he participated in software development for the on-line edition of The Wall Street Journal, and in the same time he worked on the algorithms of search engines. He took advantage from this partnership with the prestigious journal to learn the fundamentals in the economic and financial field. He developed the website Rank Dex, specialized in web pages ranking, and he obtained a patent for this technology, which he will use later for his own search engine, Baidu. In 1997, he left IDD in order to join Silicon Valley and Infoseek, publisher of a search engine.
In 2000, rich of experience, Robin Li came back to his origin and with Eric Xu, doctor in biochemistry he founded his own search engine: Baidu. In August 2004, he became head of the company and one year later he introduced it in the Nasdaq, and in few hours the share price rocketed more than 350%, from $27 to $122. In December 2007, Baidu is the first Chinese company presents on the Nasdaq-100.
His knowledge of Chinese culture and his technology skills allow him to offer a perfect search engine for Chinese market. In 2010, Baidu is quickly became the number one in China, doubling his revenues. Robin Li became billionaire with a fortune of $3.5 billion.
The company counts more than 10 000 employees, focusing on domestic market, in fact nearly 80% of searching in China are done with Baidu. Its database currently covers more than 740 million web pages, 80 million images and 10 million multimedia files.
In 2007, Robin Li was ranked among the 50 people most important in the world, according to CNN, and in 2010 was also considered one of the most influential people in the world by Times. In 2011 he became the richest man in China.
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