What’s in the Smart Lock Market for Baidu?


Aug. 10 2019, Updated 7:52 a.m. ET

Baidu gets foothold in the $24 billion smart lock market

As the South China Morning Post has reported, Baidu (BIDU) recently led an $87 million investment round in Chinese smart lock startup YunDing Network Technology. The global smart lock market was valued at $559.4 million in 2016 and is poised to grow to $24.2 billion by 2024, according to projections by Grand View Research.

The investment in YunDing gives Baidu a foothold in the expanding smart lock market and also represents another effort by the company to diversify outside its core advertising industry.

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Baidu’s 2017 revenue hit $13 billion

In addition to purchasing a stake in YunDing, Baidu has also struck a deal to provide YunDing with cloud services and artificial intelligence technologies.

Baidu generated revenue of $13 billion in 2017, up from revenue of $10.2 billion in 2016. The company currently generates the vast majority of its revenue from advertising sales, which accounted for 81% of revenue in the third quarter. Yandex (YNDX) and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) relied on advertising sales for 80% and 86% of their revenues in the third quarter, respectively.

Going beyond advertising

As part of its attempts to diversify its revenue sources, Baidu has ventured into the hardware and cloud computing businesses. In the hardware market, Baidu makes smart speakers. It captured 8.4% of the global smart speaker market in the third quarter, according to a report by Strategy Analytics. Amazon (AMZN), Google, and Alibaba (BABA) captured 31.6%, 22.7%, and 9.5% of the global smart speaker market, respectively.


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