Baidu awarded million dollar prize to two teams, one of them was speech search engine team. This is the first time when an end-user oriented team won the prize.
Baidu’s million dollar prize is set up by CEO Robin Li, mainly for employees whose position are below director levels. The team should be limited to a maximum of 10 persons. The prize would be awarded to teams which have made innovations and breakthroughs in significant projects, far beyond expectations. The number of winning teams is not limited, which means Baidu would give out the prize to every team achieved the criteria. The prize would give out on Baidu Annual Summer Party.
As the highest prize in Baidu, we could see its mid-term goals through the prizes. In the first two years, the prizes were awarded to realizing full potential of server, content network keyword match and Baidu PPC Phoenix Nest. In this year, one team works on advertising and budget, also focuses on business enterprises. But the speech search team is customer oriented.
Media questioned that Baidu didn’t put much effort on mobile products before. After buying Chinese app distributor 91 wireless for 1.9 billion USD, Baidu awarded mobile terminal developing team with one million dollar which showed growing importance of mobile terminal to Baidu.
Actually, in the past two years, Baidu speech search engine have supported a series of products, such as Baidu voice input, Baidu voice search and Baidu voice assistant.
iFLYTech is Chinese voice recognition software company, with 20 billion CNY market capitalization which is almost the same as Sohu. This gives us a reference for the Baidu speech recognition valuation.