Baidu Inc, China's leading search engine, will start hiring software engineers directly from the United States early next month, as it seeks to expand its technological capabilities and raise its global profile.

Baidu, whose name is taken from an ancient poem, stands to be the biggest beneficiary in China's search sector after Google Inc relocated its China servers to Hong Kong following a high-profile spat with Beijing over censorship and hacking.

Baidu would hire 30 mid- to senior-level software engineers from Silicon Valley at a job fair on July 10, to drive new technology projects, the first direct hiring from the United States, a Baidu spokesman told Reuters on Tuesday.

In the first quarter, Baidu had 64 percent share of the search market in China, the world's largest Internet market by users, according to Beijing-based research firm Analysys International.

(Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Chris Lewis)