Baidu Bounces In Ad Sales, AI And Cloud Demand To Achieve Best Quarterly Earnings Estimates

Baidu’s quarterly results beat Wall Street estimates on Thursday, as the Chinese search giant benefited from a rebound in advertising sales and increased demand for its artificial intelligence and cloud products.

The company also said chief financial officer (CFO) Herman Yu has been appointed chief strategy officer, but will continue to serve as chief financial officer until a successor is found.

Demand for the company’s rapidly growing autonomous driving service and its cloud-based artificial intelligence products, in which it invests heavily, has helped diversify its revenue streams and offset competition from giants such as Alibaba and ByteDance in its main research segment.

Baidu spent around CNY 15.9 billion (around Rs. 18,220 crore) in the quarter to increase revenue, an increase of 21% from the previous year.

Baidu’s streaming subsidiary iQIYI saw a 15% increase in advertising revenue and the number of subscribers rose to 106.2 million in June, thanks to more original content. IQIYI’s total revenue increased 3% to CNY 7.6 billion (about Rs. 8,710 crore) in the quarter.

The company’s adjusted profit of CNY 15.41 (approx. Rs. 180) per US Depository Share (ADS) exceeded expectations.

Baidu is under close scrutiny from regulators in Beijing who have raised concerns about data security and user privacy, targeting the country’s tech giants.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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