Baidu, the Chinese multinational technology company specializing in internet related services and products recently reported net profits that nearly tripled their first quarter earnings; this as a result of a spin-off of its video unit as part of a corporate reorientation toward artificial intelligence.
According to reports, the Beijing based company said net income for January to March increase multiple fold to about 277 per cent or 6.7 billion Yuan ($1.1 billion).
The chairman and chief executive of Baidu, Robin Li said they had a very strong start in year 2018, as their core business continues to manifest robust growth especially as they forge ahead to the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Li further congratulated iQiYi, Baidu’s video game spin-off for a successful Initial Public Offering (IPO). Baidu spun off iQiYi in the first quarter and in March the video unit listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange in New York raising $2.25 billion through its IPO there.
According to people familiar with its operations, Baidu is said to be moving away its core business from a heavy reliance on the search engine business towards technologies used in Al, which the Chinese government wants the country to become a leader in.
Reports quoted the company’s Chief Financial Officer Herman Yu saying that they have never been more interested and focused in shifting away from their non-core businesses and doubling investments in the Al-powered businesses so as to generate valuable long tern returns for their shareholders.
Baidu is heavily investing in Al related businesses from autonomous driving to facial recognition. In addition, it has procured licenses to carry out open road tests for self driving vehicles in three different regions of the country in addition to Beijing.