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With projected 45% year-over-year growth to $2.3 billion in fourth quarter revenue, China’s Google equivalent Baidu is continuing to cash in on the nation’s more than 500 million mobile Internet users. It has not limited itself to the virtual world, either. With Baidu Connect, billionaire Co-founder and CEO Robin Li is heavily investing in connecting smartphones with brick-and-mortar stores, posing a direct challenge to China’s Internet superstore Alibaba. By taking a controlling stake in online daily deals site Peixe Urbano, Baidu has also strengthened its foothold in Brazil. —J.A.