China’s Baidu beats Q3 revenue estimates as ad sales recover

China’s Baidu beats Q3 revenue estimates as ad sales recover

Nov 22 (Reuters) – Baidu Inc’s (9988.HK) third-quarter revenue beat Wall Street estimates on Tuesday, as China’s search engine giant benefited from a recovery in online advertising sales and growth in its cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) business.

Baidu, which generates most of its revenue from ads on its search engine, has seen a recovery since the second quarter, before which strict zero-COVID policies in China had led to frequent lockdowns that undermined economic activity.

Baidu’s revenue rose 2% to 32.54 billion yuan ($4.56 billion) in the three months to Sept. 30, beating the 31.79 billion yuan average estimate of 20 analysts, according to Refinitiv data.

Baidu Core’s non-online marketing revenue, an area including cloud and other AI businesses, grew by 25% year on year to 6.5 billion yuan.

The company has been focusing on self-driving technologies over the past five years, as it looks to diversify its revenue sources.

It started to charge fees for its robotaxi service Apollo Go on open roads from last year. Apollo Go operated more than 474,000 rides over the quarter and has accumulated a total of 1.4 million rides by end of the quarter.

The company’s operating income rose to 5.32 billion yuan from 2.31 billion yuan a year earlier.

Excluding items, it earned 16.87 yuan per American Depository Share (ADS).
($1 = 7.1388 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru and Yingzhi Yang in Beijing; Editing by Savio D’Souza, Robert Birsel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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