Baidu, Inc

BIDUNASDAQ
BIDU
Baidu, IncNASDAQ
 
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Apr 012022

Will Baidu bid goodbye to the US?

It seems that Chinese e-commerce giant Baidu has landed itself on the SEC’s “least wanted” list.

🔍 Key points:

  • Shares of Baidu tumbled 8% on Thursday after a spectacularly volatile month for not just Baidu, but all Chinese US-listed stocks – the internet brand saw highs of $160 and lows of $100 all within a few days earlier this month.
  • The brand is getting dragged into the US/China accounting wars. The SEC added Baidu to the list of companies that may have their US shares delisted because of Beijing’s refusal to let US officials review their audits – they have until 2024 to comply.
  • The SEC has long been trying to crackdown on the Chinese brands listed over here, and five new companies were added to the watchlist – all of them are “exploring solutions”, but if Didi Global’s delisting fate is anything to go by, they better hurry up.
simone.brunozzi / Wikimedia Commons

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Nov 252021

Roll on the Robotaxis

Baidu gets the green light to go ahead and start Beijing’s Robotaxi revolution.

  • Chinese regulators approved commercial licenses for both Baidu and the Toyota-backed Pony.ai. Their driverless taxi services can now start taking money for the experience.
  • It’s the first time such a big city has authorized the commercialization of robotaxi’s in Asia, setting the stage for others like Shanghai and Guangzhou to do the same.
  • It’s planning to launch a Robotaxi service in 100 cities by 2030, and this is the first major step to reaching that goal.
Illustration by TradingView
Nov 182021

Chinese crackdown scars

Baidu sees losses on Wednesday despite solid earnings as regulatory woes continue to make a mark.

  • The stock sank 5% to erase gains from the last week, now down 26% this year.
  • It beat on both ends with revenue up 13% to $4.95bn and EPS coming in at $2.28.
  • It reported a loss of $2.6bn after reporting a profit last year.
  • A Chinese regulatory crackdown has taken a huge toll on the tech industry, and “common prosperity” policies are eating into profits.
  • AI Cloud revenue was there to save the day, seeing a jump of 73% y-o-y and poised to continue growth with products like Robotaxis and smart devices.
  • The crackdown isn’t over though, and upbeat guidance was hindered by a warning that ad revenue is expected to continue declining into Q4.
Illustration by TradingView
Jun 182021
🤖

Baidu stakes a claim in the robo-taxi war

Baidu has a vision and it's on a mission to get there - the internet behemoth is pushing to put driverless taxis on China’s roads, inking a plan to build 1,000 in the next three years.

Not one to be outdone by rival Google, whose auto-driving unit Waymo unleashed its first robo-taxis in December, Chinese internet giant Baidu is planning on putting 1,000 driverless taxis onto the roads by 2024. The company will partner with state-owned car maker BAIC Group to develop and produce the taxis, with the aim of eventually commercializing a Robo Taxi service in China. Its smart driving unit, Apollo, plans on catering to around 3 million users across the country with an army of 3,000 driverless taxis.

It’s been experimenting with the model for a while now, and has been testing out the idea in a few cities around China, but the hope is to move past that into a mass-market rollout of the service. The Apollo Moon cars will have Baidu’s auto-driving tech and BAIC’s electric vehicles, and it looks like they’ll cost just south of $75,000 per car to mass-produce. Its foray into autonomous driving vehicles has been developing for a while as the search engine company tries to diversify its revenue stream from the traditional advertising methods. But despite releasing a slew of self-driving products like cards, shuttles and police robots back in February, the stock has suffered this year under the pressure of new SEC regulations regarding U.S.-listed Chinese stocks.

The Robotaxi space isn't without its competition: rivals WeRide and Pony.ai have been testing their own army of auto driving taxis around the country and ride-hailing giant Didi is racing towards a public offering – but this deal should put Baidu firmly on track.
May 182021

Tough crowd for Baidu

Baidu releases a knockout first quarter earnings report, but the Chinese internet giant sees shares edge lower on the results.

Baidu’s first quarter report solidly outpaced expectations on adjusted earnings and sales, and shares responded with a quick boost in day trading but closed down 0.17%. The AI and internet company reported earnings per share of 12.38 yuan ($1.93) on revenues of 28.1 billion yuan ($4.37 billion), compared to expectations of 10.50 yuan in earnings per share ($1.63) on 27.4 billion yuan ($4.26 billion) in revenue. Revenue was up 34% year over year, and Baidu’s core segment sales leaped up 37% from the same period last year to 20.5 billion yuan (3.8 billion), largely driven by online marketing revenue which made up three quarters of that number.

Baidu also gave an update on its self-driving project, Apollo, which has now accumulated over 6.2 million hours of driving on fully autonomous settings, which is pretty great news given the firm’s ambition of providing a self-driving ride-hailing service called Apollo Go for the Winter 2022 Olympics.

We are delighted to bring innovation across many sectors, including marketing cloud, enterprise cloud, smart transportation, autonomous driving, smart assistant and AI chip, through our decade-long investment in AI,

said CEO Robin Li in a news release.

Baidu’s last earnings report was responsible for its brief stint at the $300 mark in February, helped along by the company's plans to break into the increasingly popular electric vehicle space. The internet giant announced a partnership with automaker Geely in January to create a standalone EV unit that will be an independent subsidiary of Baidu, and investors were clearly ready to rumble on that idea as prices soared over 15%.

Things skidded to a halt in March though and Baidu had its worst month since May 2020, losing over 23% as the SEC officially adopted Trump’s Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, which requires Chinese companies on U.S. stock exchanges to be audited by U.S. audits. Baidu is listed in both countries, so there was some concern that the shares could be delisted.

It doesn't seem like anyone is too worried now though. Baidu’s outlook for Q2 expects a revenue of up to 32.5 billion yuan ($5.05 billion) and growth in its core segment sales of up to 33% year over year. Citi analyst Alicia Yap is sure the fundamentals of the business remain promising.

While we are not sure whether the huge volatility of share price movement of many technology stocks during the last few days could trigger more forced selling pressure or de-risk selling sentiment from other funds in the next few days, we do believe and are reassured that none of the sell-down is fundamental related,

she wrote.