Baidu posts 25 per cent rise in quarterly revenue as it continues pivot into AI and cloud services
- Revenues climbed to 28.1 billion yuan in the first quarter, boosted by ads on its core search and video streaming platforms
- Once part of China’s Big Tech triumvirate, Baidu has fallen behind in the mobile era
“Baidu’s sales mix is likely to shift further away from its traditional search advertising business as growth at its non-marketing initiatives continues to be much stronger,” said Ling Vey-Sern and Tiffany Tam, analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence.
Founder Robin Li has in recent years sought to pivot Baidu away from search to reposition itself as an AI company with autonomous driving ambitions.
Once part of China’s internet triumvirate alongside Alibaba and Tencent Holdings, Baidu has fallen behind in the mobile era, where the effectiveness of its search service has been crippled by super-apps like WeChat creating siloed ecosystems.
To compete, Baidu’s core search product is morphing into an all-purpose platform hosting an array of content from news articles to live-streams and short videos, essentially emulating those apps. It last year agreed to pay US$3.6 billion in cash for Joyy’s live-streaming video business in China is aimed at regaining lost ground to the likes of TikTok owner ByteDance.
China’s automated driving technology speeds ahead with research by search engine giant Baidu
The venture, Jidu Auto, aims to spend 50 billion yuan over the next five years to develop smart-car technology and will hire as many as 3,000 employees for the project over the next two to three years, the company said last month.