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Baidu Exceeds Q3 Revenue Projections and Restates its Ambitions to Invest in AI to Drive Growth

In addition to exceeding third-quarter sales projections, Chinese tech giant Baidu (9888.HK) reiterated its commitment to investing in artificial intelligence to fuel future growth on Tuesday.

The owner of the biggest search engine in China had a great performance, which was aided by an increase in advertising revenue as the Chinese economy began to improve.

LSEG data shows that revenue for the quarter ended September 30 was 34.45 billion yuan ($4.72 billion), which was lower than analysts’ projections of 34.33 billion yuan.

The International Monetary Fund revised up its prior prediction of 5% growth to 5.4% growth for China’s GDP this year, it announced earlier this month. As a result, businesses are now investing more in online consumer advertising.

Pre-market trading saw a little increase in Baidu’s shares listed in the United States.

In recent years, Baidu has put a greater emphasis on artificial intelligence (AI), developing a self-driving car and making significant investments in generative AI, which can produce text, images, and other types of media.

It released Ernie 4.0, the most recent iteration of its generative AI model, last month and claimed that it could match the groundbreaking GPT-4 model from ChatGPT manufacturer OpenAI.

According to Rong Luo, Baidu’s chief financial officer, the company will keep making AI investments a top priority in order to fuel its expansion, particularly in generative AI and foundation models. “We will do so with an unrelenting focus on efficiency and strategic resource allocation.” stated Luo in a statement.

The business did not address the potential effects of escalating U.S. export restrictions on high-end technology to China on its cloud business, in contrast to its Chinese tech counterparts Tencent and Alibaba, who released their reports last week.

Due to the uncertainty caused by the restrictions, which include the U.S. forbidding Nvidia (NVDA.O) from selling cutting-edge AI processors to Chinese customers, Alibaba postponed its intention to independently float its cloud division last week.

Earlier this month, The Sources revealed that Baidu ordered AI chips from Huawei that were produced locally in August, hoping that Washington would tighten export restrictions. A request for comment from Baidu regarding the report was not answered.

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