Chinese search giant Baidu Inc. is often known as the Google of China. Now, it is setting up shop in Google's backyard.
Baidu said Friday it will invest $300 million in a new research-and-development center in Silicon Valley that will have almost 200 employees and be led by Andrew Ng, most recently the head of Stanford University's artificial- intelligence lab. Mr. Ng, who also helped Google Inc. set up its artificial-intelligence efforts, was part of the research team that built a computer that taught itself to recognize cats after looking at millions of YouTube videos.
The move highlights the growing ambition and influence of China's largest Internet companies. "There's been this old stereotype that other countries copy U.S. technology," Mr. Ng said in an interview, "[but] there's tons of stuff that Baidu has done that just isn't anywhere else in the world."