Baidu to use AI to secure future growth after Q3

Baidu published its unaudited financial statement for Q3 2016 on Friday. Up to September 30, Baidu achieved a total quarterly revenue of RMB 18.25 billion (USD 2.74 billion). The net profit of RMB 3.1 billion (USD 460 million) represents a YoY growth of 9.2%.

Baidu’s mobile services are showing their muscle. As of this September, monthly active users (MAU) of Baidu’s mobile search service amounted to 660 million people, a YoY growth of 3%. Based on users’ search history, every individual user is forwarded with personalized recommendations of content. Baidu said that this function contributed to the 20-fold growth in internet traffic that Baidu claim they have experienced over the third quarter.

In addition, the 348 million MAU of Baidu Maps represents a YoY growth of 7%. Having covered 103 countries and regions worldwide, Baidu Maps is now integrating with the local service platform Baidu Nuomi to compete in the global travel industry.

However, mobile services is not Baidu’s ace card, artificial intelligence is. As Robin Li, founder and CEO of Baidu, put it: “Baidu hopes to further improve user experience with more innovations in products such as AI personal assistant Duer, and autonomous vehicle. We expect to constantly introduce new AI-based applications to the market.”

Baidu Takeout Delivery, being AI-driven, enjoyed a YoY gross merchandise volume (GMV) growth of 150% in Q3. Together with Baidu Nuomi and Baidu Wallet, Baidu’s gross merchandise volume (GMV) in e-commerce was pushed to RMB 19.4 billion, a YoY growth of 49%.

Aside from introducing the AI-based Baidu Brain, which covers fields like voice recognition and synthesis, image recognition, natural language processing and user profiling, Baidu also established in Q3 the Baidu Venture and Baidu Capital to invest in AI-related and pan-internet projects.

The financial statement expects Baidu’s total revenue in Q4 to fall between RMB 17.84 billion (USD 2.63 billion) and RMB 18.38 billion (USD 2.71 billion).

(Top photo taken from Baidu)

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