Early last year, I loaded up on shares of Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) as the stock's price dipped below $100 on fears that Qihoo 360 (NYSE:QIHU) was stealing more and more search market share in China. Since then, shares have done quite well, jumping 135% in a little over a year.

This has caused an interesting situation in my family's retirement portfolio, as shares of Baidu now account for a whopping 15% of all of our holdings. I have no intention of selling any time soon, but I have my eye keenly on the short, medium, and long-term horizons.

With Baidu set to report earnings this week, there are three key variables that I'll be keeping my eyes on. To find out what they are, and what they could mean for your investment, check out the slideshow below.

Alternative approaches to investing in China
You don't necessarily need to invest in Chinese companies to profit from the world's second-largest economy. Apple, for instance, is a U.S.-based business that does tons of business in Mainland China.

Some early viewers of Apple's newest gadget are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Brian Stoffel owns shares of Apple and Baidu. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Baidu. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Baidu. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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