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Chinese tech behemoth Baidu (BIDU) posted solid Q3 financial results, sending its shares higher in the US and Hong Kong markets. The company recently unveiled the latest version of its ChatGPT-like chatbot and said it plans to continue investing relentlessly in artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
Baidu’s Q3 Revenue Beats Estimates
Shares of Baidu climbed 2.9% higher at the market open on Tuesday after the Chinese tech giant reported better-than-expected Q3 revenue, though the growth rate slowed down compared to the previous quarter. The company’s US-listed shares were standing at $113.98 at the time of writing.Baidu reported a year-over-year revenue increase of 6% to 34.45 billion yuan ($4.72 billion) in the quarter that ended on September 30. That figure was slightly higher than the consensus estimates of 34.33 billion yuan, according to Refinitiv data. Online marketing revenue at Baidu increased by 5% from a year earlier, and non-online marketing revenue jumped 6% during the same period. Adjusted net income stood at 7.72 billion yuan in the quarter, up 23% year-over-year. At the same time, adjusted profit was reported at 2.04 yuan per American Depositary Share (ADS), compared to a profit of 16.87 yuan per share in the year-ago period and above the analysts’ estimates of 16.55 yuan.
Baidu’s Launches Latest AI Chatbot Version; Plans to Keep Investing in GenAI
Baidu’s Q3 report also showed that the company’s research and development expenses increased by 6% to 6.1 billion yuan from a year ago.In part, higher costs were driven by elevated server fees required to support Ernie, Baidu’s own version of ChatGPT. Baidu began charging for a version of the AI chatbot this month, marking the first Chinese company to do so. Those who want to use the paid version can do it for around $8 a month.The latest version of Ernie bot, 4.0, was unveiled last month. Baidu claims its capabilities match those of the GPT-4 model, developed by ChatGPT maker OpenAI, which recently witnessed an unexpected management shuffle.The initial version of Ernie was announced in February 2023, shortly after ChatGPT took the world by storm. However, Baidu’s AI-related efforts began years ago. The company, which operates the biggest search engine in China, has been becoming increasingly focused on AI, creating a self-driving vehicle and investing heavily in GenAI. Baidu’s CFO, Rong Luo, said the company plans to prioritize AI investments, particularly in generative AI and foundation models. “We will do so with an unrelenting focus on efficiency and strategic resource allocation,” he said.More By This Author:Fed Minutes Due Today, Here’s What The Market Expects
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