Chinese search engine and artificial intelligence giant Baidu reported a 16% rise in quarterly profit that beat analyst estimate as its online advertising, cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) business delivered solid growth despite global economic slowdown.
Baidu booked a total revenue of 32.5 billion yuan, representing a year-over-year growth of 2%, which is better than average estimate of 31.7 billion yuan.
Non-GAAP net income attributable to Baidu was 5.9 billion yuan, increasing 16% year over year.
Baidu’s core revenue, which combine revenue from ads on its search engine, has seen a recovery since the second quarter, despite zero-COVID policies in China that disrupt economic activities.
Baidu’s non-advertising revenue, a segment including cloud and other AI businesses, jumped 25% year-over-year to 6.5 billion yuan as it continuously commercializes autonomous driving technology that made achievement in sectors such as electric vehicle market.
“Looking ahead, we expect our mobile ecosystem to continue generating strong cash flow and fund our investment in AI cloud and intelligent driving, which will help maintain our leadership in the AI business and driving long term business growth,” said Robin Li, co-founder and CEO of Baidu.
Apollo Go, Baidu’s artificial intelligence division, completed 474,000 robotaxi rides between July and September, representing a year-on-year leap of 311%.
The volume of driverless taxi services offered by Baidu, jumped 65% in the third quarter of this year.
Baidu established its autonomous driving system Apollo in 2017, which mainly supplies open-source technology powered by artificial intelligence and partner with a number of Chinese carmakers including FAW Group, Sokon and electric vehicle startup Nio, as well as international car companies including BMW, Ford Motor Co, Volkswagen, Toyota, Honda, Daimler.
Baidu was early in commencing road testing initiatives in China and leads the industry in areas including total number of testing vehicles, scale of testing, and diversification of testing scenarios.
Last November, Baidu and Pony AI became the first two mainland operators to be allowed to charge passengers using their autonomous taxis within a designated area covering 60 square kilometers in Beijing.