On May 16, 2023, Baidu announced its financial results for Q1 2023. Thanks to the improvement of the macroeconomic situation and the enterprise's continuous measures to reduce costs and increase efficiency, Baidu's profitability improved significantly, with a substantial increase of nearly 50% in net profit.
Baidu, Inc (hereinafter referred to as “Baidu”, Chinese: 百度, NASDAQ: BIDU, HKEX: 9888), headquartered in Beijing, recently released its 2023 first quarterly report. In Q1 2023, the company achieved total operating revenue of CNY 31.1 billion (USD 4.43 billion), up 10% year-over-year, and net profit attributable to Baidu (non-GAAP) reached CNY 5.7 billion, a significant increase of 48% from the same period last year.
Founded in 2000, Baidu is one of the leading AI companies with a strong Internet foundation and the world's top provider of a complete AI stack. Baidu provides an infrastructure consisting of AI chips, deep learning frameworks, core AI capabilities, and an open AI platform to facilitate widespread adoption. Its business consists of two main components, the core business (including Mobile Ecosystem, AI Cloud, Intelligent Driving & Other Growth Initiatives), which accounts for over 70% of overall revenue, and iQIYI, which accounts for the remaining revenue of approximately 30%.
Baidu has long been focusing on globalization strategy. As of 2022, Baidu's mobile products have covered over 200 countries and regions around the world, with 1.6 billion users, and 300 million monthly users. Moreover, DU AD Platform, a mobile advertising platform for overseas markets, has also accessed over 1,400 developers, with more than 1.5 billion daily requests for advertising. Baidu’s overseas input method installation has exceeded 100 million, supporting 120 languages, covering 190 countries and regions around the world, which also ranked first in market share in countries like Japan. Baidu's Hao123 desktop users have exceeded 30 million, becoming one of the most commonly used Web site navigation in Brazil.
In terms of R&D investment, Baidu's core R&D expenses reached CNY 21.42 billion in 2022, accounting for 22.4% of Baidu's core revenue. According to the China AI Patent Technology Analysis Report (2022), Baidu AI patent applications amounted to 16,754 and AI patent grants amounted to 5,705, with both numbers ranking first in the country for five consecutive years.
For the three core businesses, AI Cloud achieved profitability (non-GAAP) in Q1 with revenue up 8% year-over-year to CNY 4.2 billion. Mobile Ecosystem maintained strong growth momentum in the quarter with online marketing revenue of CNY 16.6 billion, up 6% year-over-year. In terms of intelligent driving, Baidu's self-driving service Radish Express had approximately 660,000 orders in Q1 2023, a 236% increase from the same period last year, placing it as the world's largest self-driving travel service provider. In terms of other businesses, Xiaodu ranked first in shipments of both smart speakers and smart screens in China in 2022, according to IDC and Canalys, two leading global technology market analyst firms.
The major competitors of Baidu include Chinese companies such as Tencent (Chinese: 腾讯), Alibaba (Chinese: 阿里巴巴) and ByteDance, as well as international players such as Google, Amazon and Apple from the US.
Based on current industry trends, Robin Li Yanhong, founder, chairman and CEO of Baidu, said, "We believe that generative AI and large language models (LLM) bring revolutionary potential to a wide range of industries, and we plan to gradually integrate Wenxin Yiyin into all of our businesses to empower our products and services and attract a wider range of users and customers. This will also help us achieve long-term, sustainable growth." In March this year, Baidu released Wenxin Yiyin, a large model product benchmarked against ChatGPT.
As of press time, Baidu closed at CNY 913.46 apiece, with a market cap of CNY 319.34 billion.