Baidu Reveals 2020 Q4 Financial Results, Showing Strong Growth in Cloud Services

(Source: Baidu)

Artificial intelligence (AI) giant Baidu Inc. on Feb. 18 released its unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ending on Dec. 31, 2020.

The company reported total revenue of 30.3 billion yuan (about $4.6 billion) for the last quarter, representing a 5% year-on-year rise in revenue compared to the 28.9 billion yuan grossed last year. The performance was driven by reviving adverting sales and increasing demand for cloud services.

The online marketing revenue from the search engine giant’s core search business totaled 18.9 billion yuan, roughly flat from a year ago. However, the revenue from the non-search businesses spiked 52% to 4.2 billion yuan, also driven by cloud sales and other services.

The registered net income of the company was 5.2 billion yuan, down 18% year-over-year.

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Baidu ranks first in China’s AI public cloud market, according to the latest IDC report for 1H 2020, marking the third time that Baidu has topped the list.

The Nasdaq-listed company’s video branch iQIYI revealed a 1% year-on-year revenue decline in the past quarter, down to 7.5 billion yuan, with the number of subscribers falling to 101.7 million. iQIYI’s membership revenue grew 14% year over year – a good performance that was partially offset by online advertising revenue declining 18%.

The past year also witnessed the development of Baidu’s intelligent driving services, including the Apollo Robotaxi and robobus, as well as the smart assistant system DuerOS and Xiaodu Smart Display.

The mobile ecosystem revealed strong growth. The Baidu App’s monthly active users (MAUs) has reached 544 million and daily logged-in users rose over 70%. Meanwhile, its Smart Mini Program’s MAUs reached 414 million.

Baidu said in an announcement that it expects the revenue to be between 26 billion yuan and 28.5 billion yuan for the first quarter of 2021, with a growth rate of 15% to 26% year-on-year.

“As we enter 2021, Baidu is well-positioned as a leading AI company with strong Internet foundation to seize the huge market opportunities in cloud services, autonomous driving, smart transportation, and other AI opportunities,” said Robin Li, Co-founder and CEO of Baidu. “We also hope to capitalize on our huge Internet reach with more non-marketing services.”