Robin Li

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Robin Li
Robin Li at the Web 2.0 Summit 2010 (cropped).jpg
Li in 2010
Born (1968-11-17) 17 November 1968 (age 54)
EducationPeking University (BMgt)
University at Buffalo (MS)
Occupation(s)Software engineer, internet entrepreneur
TitleCo-founder and CEO of Baidu
Chairman of iQIYI
Board member ofEducation & Technology Group Inc.
SpouseDongmin Ma
Chinese name
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 software engineer and billionaire internet entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of the search engine Baidu.[1] As of March 2022, his net worth was estimated at US$8.5 billion.[2]

Li studied information management at Peking University and computer science at the University at Buffalo. In 1996, he created RankDex, the first web search engine with page-ranking and site-scoring algorithms.[3] 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.[4] Li was included as one of the 15 Asian Scientists To Watch by Asian Scientist Magazine on 15 May 2011.[5]

In August 2014, Li was appointed by the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, as co-chair of the Independent Expert Advisory Group on Data Revolution for Sustainable Development.[6] Li is a member of the 12th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.[7]

Early life and education[edit]

Li was born in Yangquan, Shanxi Province, 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 earned a Bachelor of Management with a major in information management from Peking University. In the fall 1991, Li went to the University at Buffalo in New York to study for a doctorate in computer science. He left the doctoral program with a master's degree in 1994.[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 created the Rankdex site-scoring algorithm for search engine page ranking,[3][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".[18] In 2002 and 2003, he was named one of the "IT Ten Famous Persons".[19] In April 2004, he was named in the second session of "Chinese Software Ten Outstanding Young Persons".[20] In August 2005, he was named in the twelfth session of the "ASEAN Youth Award".[21] In December 2005, he was named one of the "CCTV 2005 Chinese Economic Figures of The Year".[22] In December 2006 he was named 2006's "World's Best Business Leader" by the American Business Weekly.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Li is married to Dongmin Ma, who also works for Baidu.[24][25] They have four children and live in Beijing, China.[2]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Forbes profile: Robin Li". Forbes. Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  3. ^ a b "About: RankDex",; accessed 3 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Baidu mesmerizes Wall Street - Taipei Times". 7 August 2005. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  5. ^ "The Ultimate List Of 15 Asian Scientists To Watch – Robin Li". 15 May 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  6. ^ "UN Secretary-General's Data Revolution expert group". Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  7. ^ 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.
  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". 17 September 2006. 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: 5920859A, 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. ^ "中国十大创业新锐"80后"李想上榜". Archived from the original on 2006-05-30.
  19. ^ 2006年中国IT十大风云人物 任正非当选年度人物-搜狐IT.
  20. ^ 爱好者日报.
  21. ^ "人民网--404页面".
  22. ^ "中国经济界奥斯卡奖的"CCTV2005中国经济年度人物评选"各个奖项揭晓-中国知识产权报---要闻回顾". Archived from the original on 2011-07-07.
  23. ^ iresearch-洞察互联网的力量.
  24. ^ "Baidu focuses on AI as founder hires new management team". 25 January 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  25. ^ "She has been a partner of Robin Li, now return to Baidu as a special assistant". Retrieved 11 October 2017.

External links[edit]