Baidu Revenue Beats as ChatGPT-Style AI Awaits Beijing Approval – Yahoo Finance

(Bloomberg) — Baidu Inc.’s revenue rose its most in more than a year, joining China’s largest internet companies in rediscovering growth after Beijing relaxed its grip on the private sector to try and jumpstart a faltering economy.
Most Read from Bloomberg
Huawei Is Building a Secret Network for Chips, Trade Group Warns
Goldman Is Cracking Down on Employees That Aren't in Office Five Days a Week
Musk Told Pentagon He Spoke to Putin Directly, New Yorker Says
India First to Land Near Moon South Pole After Russia Fails
Bond Yields Sink as Weak Data Fuel Fed Pause Bets: Markets Wrap
Its shares rose about 4% in pre-market trading in New York. The company reported a larger-than-projected 15% jump in sales to 34.1 billion yuan ($4.7 billion) for the June quarter. Net income rose 43% to 5.2 billion yuan.
Like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., China’s search leader is riding a recovery in advertising and consumer spending from the depths of the Covid Zero era in 2022. That’s despite increasing turbulence in the world’s No. 2 economy that emerged in past months, from stubbornly high unemployment to a property crisis. On Tuesday, video platform Kuaishou Technology reported its first net income on record after sales beat expectations.
Investors for now are focused on Baidu’s AI ambitions, since the Chinese company demonstrated its domestic leadership by unveiling a ChatGPT-rival called Ernie in March. Alibaba and Tencent have since joined a parade of startups in touting their own large language models to try and match OpenAI’s seminal creation, raising questions about whether Baidu can sustain its current lead.
Baidu founder Robin Li said the company awaits Beijing’s approval to roll out its answer to ChatGPT to the public, skirting questions about specific timing. The uncertainty reflects regulations that kicked in Aug. 15 requiring a security review before AI services can hit the market, part of sweeping rules intended to control content while allowing players to flourish and compete with US rivals.
Read more: Beijing Tries to Regulate China’s AI Sector Without Crushing It
Till then, Li conveyed optimism about the prospects for advertising despite macroeconomic volatility, though growth rates may fluctuate.
“For the second half of the year, we should continue to see a pretty clear recovery trend for our online marketing business,” he told analysts on a call.
In June, the company — also China’s leader in autonomous driving — claimed Ernie has outperformed ChatGPT on several measures. But Tencent said last week its own model in development was already one of China’s best, while Alibaba is integrating a ChatGPT-like AI into its meeting and messaging apps.
Baidu hopes its creation — built atop years of investment, research and development in AI technology — will become the next must-have app for the world’s largest internet arena, luring users back from all-in-one platforms like Tencent’s WeChat. Baidu is integrating Ernie Bot across business lines ranging from cloud computing to smart speakers. It also set aside a $140 million venture fund to invest in OpenAI-like startups.
The company’s shares have gained about 10% this year, ranking among the best performers on the Hang Seng Tech Index, which has lost 3%.
The Beijing-based company has in past years sought to move beyond its roots as a search and marketing firm toward a provider of technology like AI and autonomous driving. The cloud computing arm became a growth engine during China’s downturn, while its driverless taxis expanded into more cities like Wuhan and Chongqing.
Baidu’s AI cloud revenue grew 5% — a tad slower than the prior quarter’s 8% — after governments delayed project deployments. The company hopes its nascent cloud unit — now break-even on an adjusted operating level — could outfox larger rivals, by becoming the go-to platform for startups trying to train their own AI models and applications.
Lackluster consumption and rising competition remain key hurdles. Investors betting on an extension of Baidu’s market-beating rally may be due for a reality check as concerns about the sluggish Chinese economy and setbacks from a key segment of its business deepen.
And without a stronger demand pull or updates to its AI project, the outlook for its shares is cloudy at best.
“Baidu is viewed as being in the lead for generative AI because of its more visible investments over the years,” Vey-Sern Ling, managing director at Union Bancaire Privee, said before the earnings release. “But the development of generative AI applications is still at an early stage.”
Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek
Sorry, But LinkedIn Is Cool Now
Never Mind Shrinking Households, Builders Are Adding Bedrooms
Drug Benefit Firms Devise New Fees That Go to Them, Not Clients
‘Don’t You Remember Me?’ The Crypto Hell on the Other Side of a Spam Text
GOP Presidential Hopeful Ramaswamy Sued Over Strive’s Practices
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.
Eurozone PMI added further pressure on the euro, suggesting the economy is deteriorating faster and more broadly than previously thought, HSBC Global Research said.
Baidu said second-quarter net profit climbed, thanks to growth in online-marketing and video-streaming services.
Chinese e-commerce company Baidu reported revenue 15% higher, beating analysts' estimates, while its automated taxi service grew.
(Bloomberg) — On Threads, Meta Platforms Inc.’s Twitter copycat, users have been asking for weeks for a version that works on their computers. Soon, the company is expected to fulfill the wish.Most Read from BloombergHuawei Is Building a Secret Network for Chips, Trade Group WarnsGoldman Is Cracking Down on Employees That Aren't in Office Five Days a WeekMusk Told Pentagon He Spoke to Putin Directly, New Yorker SaysIndia First to Land Near Moon South Pole After Russia FailsBond Yields Sink as W
(Bloomberg) — As it seeks to pull off what could be the largest initial public offering of the year, Arm Holdings Ltd. spent more than 3,500 words explaining the risks it faces in China, a critical market that accounts for about a quarter of its revenue.Most Read from BloombergHuawei Is Building a Secret Network for Chips, Trade Group WarnsGoldman Is Cracking Down on Employees That Aren't in Office Five Days a WeekMusk Told Pentagon He Spoke to Putin Directly, New Yorker SaysIndia First to Land
(Bloomberg) — Turkish startup Getir said it struggled to pay some bills in Germany and will cut more than 10% of its global workforce, as the rapid delivery service seeks to raise new funds and attempt to turn around its cash-hungry business. Most Read from BloombergHuawei Is Building a Secret Network for Chips, Trade Group WarnsGoldman Is Cracking Down on Employees That Aren't in Office Five Days a WeekMusk Told Pentagon He Spoke to Putin Directly, New Yorker SaysIndia First to Land Near Moon
(Bloomberg) — SoftBank Group Corp. is selling some of its investments in Latin America for the first time, turning a profit on the holdings even though startups in the region have been shut out of the market for initial public offerings. Most Read from BloombergMusk Told Pentagon He Spoke to Putin Directly, New Yorker SaysBorrowers With $39 Billion in Student Loans Finally See ReliefStocks Fail to Catch a Bid Before Nvidia’s Results: Markets WrapGoldman Is Cracking Down on Employees That Aren't
MNSO stock jumped, signaling a move above a buy point after the China-based retailer beat earnings views amid a rapid store expansion.
Arm Holdings files plan for long-anticipated IPO, American Airlines joins other carriers with boost to pilot pay, and other news to start your day.
Investors soured on most S&P 500 stocks this month. And it's easy to see why: You can get 5.6% returns without all the market's drama.
The markets have been exhibiting some wobbly tendencies recently, with the strong rally seen in the first half of the year appearing to have wilted a bit under the summer sun. Fear not, however, appears to be the advice of one prominent stock picker. With US inflation falling to 3% recently compared to last summer’s 9%, and with GDP growth in the last quarter coming in at 2.4%, famous value investor Bill Miller, whose net worth is valued at $1.4 billion, thinks the rest of the year looks pretty
Money-market funds and Treasury bills are offering competition for high-dividend stocks with short-term rates above 5%, but they aren't the only game in town.
SoFi Technologies, Inc. (SOFI) has received quite a bit of attention from users lately. Therefore, it is wise to be aware of the facts that can impact the stock's prospects.
Move to cut the lenders' credit rating comes only weeks after Moody's slashed its ratings on several banks.
Peloton stock was tanking in pre-market after posting a disappointing quarter and guidance.
Roche accidentally published positive interim results from a lung cancer treatment study, which boosted shares of rivals Iteos and Arcus.
ACM Research, Inc. (ACMR) shares have started gaining and might continue moving higher in the near term, as indicated by solid earnings estimate revisions.
A lot hinges on Nvidia results, including the direction of the Nasdaq. Technical analysis of the chip maker's stock flashes a bearish warning, analyst says.
Starting the year 2021 at 2 a share, AMC stock skyrocketed 36-fold to an all-time high of 72.62 on June 2 that same year. AMC stock started the year at 27.20 and ended at 4.07, a miserable loss of 85%. Since then, AMC's drama in the stock market today has continued.
Advance Auto Parts Chief Financial Officer Jeff Shepherd has left the company amid a shakeup of the aftermarket car-parts retailer’s top ranks. Advance Auto Parts named Tony Iskander, a finance executive at the company, as interim chief financial officer. The switch comes as Advance Auto Parts also named Shane O’Kelly, a Home Depot executive, as its next chief executive, succeeding Tom Greco, who previously said he planned to retire.