Chinese search firm hires Sidley Austin to lobby Senate

The Chinese search engine Baidu has hired lawyers from Sidley Austin to lobby the Senate on its behalf, according to a report from LegalTimes.

According to a lobbying registration filed by the Senate Baidu, has turned to K Street for the first time in hopes of influencing next year's Special 301 Report from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which examines trading practices considered unfair by the government

The 2010 Special 301 Report called out Baidu for enabling the vast majority of illegal music downloads in China.

“Baidu is the target of ongoing infringement actions by both domestic and foreign rights holders. Baidu executives continue to deny responsibility for content hosted by other websites. Several rights holders are pursuing legal action in Chinese courts,” the report said.

Baidu is the dominant search engine in China, with more than 75 percent of the mainland's search market. Listed on the lobbying registration are Sidley Austin counsel James Mendenhall and lawyers in the firm's Palo Alto, Calif., and Beijing offices. The registration took effect on Nov. 18.