What Has China Done for Baidu?


Nov. 30 2018, Published 9:53 a.m. ET

Baidu says China’s policies are behind its success

According to Baidu (BIDU) CEO Robin Li, the company would not have become the technology giant it is today if it were not for the favorable policies that the Chinese government has adopted to support private sector growth in the country.

In recent months, the leaders of some of China’s top technology companies have come out in praise of what they have portrayed as Beijing’s contribution to their success, the South China Morning Post has reported. China has ambitions to lead in emerging technology areas such as AI. As a result, the government has adopted policies to support growth in such areas.

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China vying to dominate AI race

China’s support for AI, for example, has seen many domestic companies join the race to develop self-driving vehicles, and Baidu has emerged as a leader in this space. The company has been working on a self-driving shuttle bus called Apolong and is on pace to start its commercialization in China this year before introducing it in Japan next year.

At the same time, Baidu has teamed up with Ford Motor Company (F) and Volvo on more self-driving tests in China, including plans for a self-driving taxi service.

Revenue up 27% at Baidu

Are China’s so-called supportive policies translating to financial success for Baidu? The company reported that its revenue increased 27% YoY (year-over-year) to $4.1 billion in the third quarter. It posted a net profit of $1.8 billion in the quarter.

Domestic industry peers Alibaba (BABA), JD.com (JD), Tencent (TCEHY), and Sogou (SOGO) grew their third-quarter revenues 54%, 25%, 24%, and 7.5%, respectively, YoY.


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