Baidu books 12.4b yuan profit for third quarter

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Chinese online search giant Baidu said today net profit for the third quarter jumped by 56 percent on continued robust growth in revenue and traffic to its mobile app.

Net income grew to 12.4 billion yuan (US$1.78 billion) for the three months ending September 30.

The Beijing-based, Nasdaq-listed company credited "impressive" gains in its search function, news feed, and the new artificial intelligence (AI) projects

that Baidu is staking its future on, AFP reports.

Quarterly revenues remained strong, growing by27 percent year-on-year to 28.2 billion yuan, Baidu said in an statement.

"Feed revenue has been a bright spot in driving Baidu's revenue growth due to robust user traffic growth, as well as strong traction with Baidu's video

offerings," chairman and chief executive Robin Li said in the statement.

Baidu is seeking to reposition itself from a heavy reliance on the search-engine business toward technologies used in AI, which China's government

wants the country to become a leader in.

At a developer's conference this year, Baidu showcased upgrades to Baidu Brain, the baseline for its AI services, and DuerOS, a conversational AI system.

"On the AI side, DuerOS continues to see strong adoption with an installed base reaching 141 million and voice queries surpassing 800 million in September 2018," Li said.

Baidu’s businesses "began to feel he impact of policy changes... as well as general uncertainties from a potential trade war,” chief financial Officer Herman Yu said on a call with analysts after the firm released its earnings results, Reuters reports. "We expect this trend to continue.”

Baidu’s U.S.-listed stock was down by 1.4 percent in after-hours trading. The stock has fallen more than 20 percent since the beginning of the year, mirroring similar losses at peers Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings.