Chinese internet company Baidu has reported third-quarter revenue of RMB 28.2bn (US $4.16bn) in an earnings beat as China’s economy continues to gradually re-open following the coronavirus pandemic.
However, this represents modest year-over-year growth of 1%. Its core search engine business brought in $3.15bn in revenue, with online marketing growth “basically flat” in this segment at $2.72bn.
For the quarter ending 30 September Baidu saw 14% revenue growth in its non-online marketing revenue from Baidu Core, which it attributed primarily to its cloud services business.
The search giant reported net income of $2.01bn and diluted earnings per share of $5.86.
During Q3 Baidu entered a number of partnerships to offer its AI services, including a deal with Postal Savings Bank of China to provide an AI credit risk management platform.
In September Baidu’s conversational AI system, DuerOS, received 5.3 billion voice queries.
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The number of people using Baidu’s mobile app reached 206 million daily active users and its monthly active users reached 544 million in September.
On Monday Baidu announced it is buying streaming platform YY Live from social media firm JOYY for about $3.6bn.
This is geared towards diversifying revenue streams, with its search engine business currently accounting for 76% of its total revenue.
“Our revenue growth turned positive in the third quarter with many advertising verticals turning around, putting Baidu in a good position to further benefit from a recovery in the Chinese economy,” said Robin Li, co-founder and CEO of Baidu, in a statement.
“The vibrant mobile ecosystem that Baidu has built in the last few years sets a strong foundation for us to grow our non-advertising business. Our new AI businesses saw healthy growth in the third quarter, particularly from cloud, where we are differentiating with AI solutions.”
For Q4 Baidu forecasts revenues to be between $4.2bn and $4.6bn. This would represent a -1% to 8% year-over-year growth rate.