Robin Li

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Robin Li
Robin Li at the Web 2.0 Summit 2010 (cropped).jpg
Robin Li, 2010
Born (1968-11-17) 17 November 1968 (age 51)
Alma materPeking University
State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo
OccupationComputer scientist, internet entrepreneur
Net worthUS$18.8 billion (October 2017)[1]
TitleCo-founder & CEO, Baidu
Board member ofEducation & Technology Group Inc.
Spouse(s)Dongmin Ma
Robin Li
Simplified Chinese李彦宏
Traditional Chinese李彥宏

Robin Li Yanhong (Chinese: 李彦宏; pinyin: Lǐ Yànhóng; born 17 November 1968) is a Chinese computer scientist and internet entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of the search engine Baidu,[2] and one of the richest people in China, with a net worth of US$18.5 billion as of October 2017.[1] Li is a member of the 12th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.[3] He also invented RankDex, the first web search engine with page-ranking and site-scoring algorithms, which inspired Google's PageRank algorithm.[citation needed]

Li studied information management at Peking University and computer science at the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 1996, he invented RankDex, the first web search engine with page-ranking and site-scoring algorithms.[4] In 2000, he founded Baidu with Eric Xu. Li has been CEO of Baidu since January 2004. The company was listed on NASDAQ on August 5, 2005.[5] Li was included as one of the 15 Asian Scientists To Watch by Asian Scientist Magazine on 15 May 2011.[6]

On August 29, 2014, Robin Li was appointed by the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, as co-chair of the Independent Expert Advisory Group on Data Revolution for Sustainable Development.[7]

Early years[edit]

Li was born in Shanxi Province, China, where he spent most of his childhood. Both of his parents were factory workers. Li was the fourth of five children, and the only boy.[8]

He enrolled at Peking University where he studied information management and earned a Bachelor of Science degree. In the fall of 1991, Li went to the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York in the US to study for a doctorate in computer science. He received his Master in Computer Science degree in 1994 after deciding not to continue with the PhD.[8]


In 1994, Li joined IDD Information Services, a New Jersey division of Dow Jones and Company, where he helped develop a software program for the online edition of The Wall Street Journal.[9] He also worked on improving algorithms for search engines. He remained at IDD Information Services from May 1994 to June 1997. In 1996, while at IDD, Li invented the Rankdex site-scoring algorithm for search engine page ranking,[4][10][11] which was awarded a U.S. patent.[12] It was the first search engine that used hyperlinks to measure the quality of websites it was indexing,[13] predating the very similar algorithm patent filed by Google two years later in 1998.[14] Google founder Larry Page referenced Li's work in some of his U.S. patents for PageRank.[15] Li later used his Rankdex technology for the Baidu search engine.

Road to Baidu[edit]

Li worked as a staff engineer for Infoseek, a pioneer internet search engine company, from July 1997 to December 1999. An achievement of his was the picture search function used by[16] Since founding Baidu in January 2000, Li has turned the company into the largest Chinese search engine, with over 80% market share by search query, and the second largest independent[vague] search engine in the world. On 5 August 2005, Baidu successfully completed its IPO on NASDAQ, and in 2007 became the first Chinese company to be included in the NASDAQ-100 Index. He appeared in CNN Money's annual list of "50 people who matter now" in 2007.[17]


In 2001, he was named one of the "Chinese Top Ten Innovative Pioneers" In 2002 and 2003, he was consecutively named one of "IT Ten Famous Persons". In April 2004, he was named the second session of "Chinese Software Ten Outstanding Young Persons". On 23 August 2005, he was named the twelfth session of "ASEAN Youth Award". On 28 December 2005 he was named one of the "CCTV 2005 Chinese Economic Figures of The Year" On 10 December 2006 he was named 2006's "World's Best Business Leader" by the American Business Weekly.

Personal life[edit]

Li is married to Dongmin Ma, who also works for Baidu.[18][19] They have four children and live in Beijing, China.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Robin Li". Forbes. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "政协委员李彦宏:高薪挖著名教授成为不了优秀大学". China Internet Information Center. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "About: RankDex",; accessed 3 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Baidu mesmerizes Wall Street - Taipei Times". Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  6. ^ "The Ultimate List Of 15 Asian Scientists To Watch – Robin Li". 15 May 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  7. ^ "UN Secretary-General's Data Revolution expert group". Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  8. ^ a b "李彦宏 - MBA智库百科" (in Chinese). 1 May 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Robin Li's vision powers Baidu's Internet search dominance - Taipei Times". Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  10. ^ Greenberg, Andy, "The Man Who's Beating Google", Forbes magazine, October 05, 2009
  11. ^ Yanhong Li, "Toward a Qualitative Search Engine," IEEE Internet Computing, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 24–29, July/August 1998, doi:10.1109/4236.707687
  12. ^ USPTO, "Hypertext Document Retrieval System and Method", US Patent number: 5920859, Inventor: Yanhong Li, Filing date: 5 February 1997, Issue date: 6 July 1999
  13. ^ "Baidu Vs Google: The Twins Of Search Compared". FourWeekMBA. 18 September 2018. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  14. ^ Altucher, James (March 18, 2011). "10 Unusual Things About Google". Forbes. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  15. ^ "Method for node ranking in a linked database". Google Patents. Archived from the original on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  16. ^ Watts, Jonathan (8 December 2005). "The man behind China's answer to Google: accused by critics of piracy and censorship". Retrieved 13 August 2017 – via The Guardian.
  17. ^ CNN Money, June 2007, "50 people who matter now",; accessed 3 May 2014.
  18. ^ "Baidu focuses on AI as founder hires new management team". Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  19. ^ "She has been a partner of Robin Li, now return to Baidu as a special assistant". Retrieved 11 October 2017.

External links[edit]