Tag Archives: Baidu
(Reuters) – Traffic growth on Baidu Inc’s mobile app helped drive higher-than-expected third quarter revenue as China’s biggest search engine operator places more emphasis on artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous driving.
FILE PHOTO: A Baidu logo is seen at the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) at the National Convention Center in Beijing, China April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Revenue rose to 28.2 billion yuan ($ 4.11 billion) from 23.49 billion yuan in the same quarter a year ago. That beat the average estimate of 27.53 billion yuan, according to Refinitiv data.
Baidu has been investing heavily in new business lines following tighter rules in China introduced in 2016 requiring search engines to make it clear which results are paid-for ads, but has said these projects may not help boost sales growth in the near term.
Baidu’s sales momentum has lagged technology peers Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd, and it has sold or closed several businesses over the past year which were in direct competition.
Baidu forecast fourth-quarter revenue of 25.48 billion yuan to 26.72 billion yuan, lower than financial analysts’ target of 27.69 billion yuan.
At the same time, Baidu has become one of China’s biggest names in AI, with its efforts endorsed by the government as well as international firms. This month, it became the first Chinese company to join an AI ethics group alongside members such as Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google.
“Baidu delivered a solid third quarter with impressive results from search, feed and new AI businesses,” said Baidu Chief Executive Robin Li.
He added that Baidu’s AI platform DuerOS saw strong adoption and Apollo, Baidu’s self-driving car technology, was now powering fully autonomous Apolong minibuses in over 10 locations.
Baidu said its AI system blocked over 430 million medical ads to combat misleading and low-quality medical advertisements in the third quarter. The stricter rules on Chinese internet advertising resulted from the death of a student who underwent an experimental cancer treatment which he found using Baidu.
Net income rose 56 percent from a year earlier to 12.4 billion yuan, the company said.
Excluding gains from the divestiture of its financial services business, Baidu posted adjusted earnings per share of 19.01 yuan versus Wall Street expectations of 16.70, according to Refinitiv data.
While the company said its Baidu App saw strong traffic in the quarter, its daily active user number dropped to 151 million in September from a peak of 161 million reached in August. The September number was up 19 percent year-on-year.
Baidu’s U.S.-listed stock was slightly lower following the results in after-hours trade on Tuesday. The stock is down over 20 percent since the beginning of the year amid a wider selloff of Chinese technology shares.
Reporting by Cate Cadell in Beijing and Jane Lanhee Lee in San Francisco; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Tom Brown
SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese internet search firm Baidu Inc posted a forecast-beating quarterly revenue increase and unveiled a U.S. listing plan for its Netflix-like video platform iQiyi as it looks to rev up new drivers for growth.
Baidu posted on Tuesday fourth quarter revenue of 23.6 billion yuan ($ 3.72 billion), up 29 percent against the same period a year ago and topping analysts’ forecasts of 23.05 billion yuan and the company’s own guidance.
The strong results are a major fillip for Baidu as it looks to ramp up spending on riskier gambles in autonomous driving and fend off cashed-up rivals such as Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd in online video content.
A U.S. listing would bring extra financial muscle for its popular iQiyi platform as it ramps up spending. Baidu said the size of any IPO was not yet set, but that it would likely remain iQiyi’s controlling shareholder. iQiyi could be worth $ 8 billion or more, according to Reuters Breakingviews.
“An IPO will bolster iQiyi’s position in the market and give it more cash to buy content or make content on their own,” said Ni Shuang, Beijing-based Pacific Securities analyst, adding it would help Baidu keep pace with rivals in the space.
The strong quarterly showing – driven by the core search and news feed businesses – is also key to generating cash flow “to fund our new AI businesses”, Baidu chief executive Robin Li told a post-earnings conference call.
The company’s shares rose nearly 5 percent in extended trading after the results, overturning a nearly 4 percent fall since the start of the year.
Herman Yu, the firm’s chief financial officer, said content costs rose 70 percent last year to 13.4 bln yuan as iQiyi acquired content. These costs would rise at a similar pace this year.
The firm will also raise R&D spending in areas like its Apollo open-source software platform for autonomous driving, which executives said would eventually become a “very material and significant revenue source for the company”.
“Having said that, a key caveat is that this market will take time to build,” chief operating officer Qi Lu told the conference call.
Strong results in its more traditional businesses were central to Baidu’s success, with revenue from its core online marketing – including its search platform and news feed – jumping 26.3 percent to 20.4 billion yuan.
The results will help soothe Baidu investors as the company looks to turn around its fortunes after a series of missteps sparked steep losses in 2016 and hit its advertising revenue from internet searches.
Baidu, part of China’s trinity of tech giants along with Alibaba and Tencent, posted net income of 4.16 billion yuan in the quarter ended Dec. 31, up from 4.13 billion yuan a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, the company earned 14.9 yuan per ADS, above forecasts.
Baidu pegged its guidance for first-quarter revenue growth, between 19.86 billion yuan and 20.97 billion yuan, a 25-32 percent increase against the same period of 2017. That compared with analysts’ average estimate of 21.18 billion yuan.
Reporting by Adam Jourdan in SHANGHAI, Pei Li in BEIJING and Arjun Panchadar in BENGALURU; Editing by Eric Meijer and Muralikumar Anantharaman
BEIJING (Reuters) – China Citic Bank Corp (601998.SS) and search engine giant Baidu Inc (BIDU.O) launched on Saturday a direct banking joint venture, dubbed AiBank, to capitalize on China’s rapidly growing fintech sector.
AiBank is one among several tie-ups between an internet firm and a lender in China’s booming online finance market where technology gurus like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) and Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) have already set up their own finance arms to offer a range of financial products including payment, wealth management and micro loans.
A direct bank offers services over the internet instead of through physical branches.
AiBank will focus on lending to individuals and small businesses while leveraging big data and artificial intelligence to build new risk control models, Li Rudong, president of the new bank said at a launch event in Beijing.
Li said 60 percent of the new bank’s employees will be technology staff.
“AiBank is the future of intelligent finance…It is an institution that understands customers best and understands finance best,” said Baidu Chief Operating Officer Lu Qi.
Mid-tier lender Citic Bank owns 70 percent of the joint venture, while Baidu controls the remaining 30 percent. The direct bank has a registered capital of 2 billion yuan.
China’s banking regulator approved the establishment of AiBank earlier this year.
Reporting by Shu Zhang and Elias Glenn; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman
This platform, which combines NVidia’s architecture with Baidu’s cloud computing, mapping and artificial intelligence expertise, can provide the …
Microsoft has announced a new partnership with Baidu, the hugely popular Chinese search engine. In China, Baidu.com will be the default home page and search engine for the new Microsoft Edge browser. Additionally, Baidu will deliver Universal Windows Applications for search, video, cloud and maps for Windows 10. The company plans to deliver a customized experience for Baidu’s more than 600 million users, featuring local browsing and search. Microsoft will make it easy for customers to upgrade to the official Windows 10 via a Baidu “Windows 10 Express” distribution channel. Microsoft isn’t abandoning Bing in China in its support for Baidu. According to Yusuf…
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