Baidu’s total revenues reached RMB 23.6 billion ($3.62 billion) in Q4 2017, increasing 29% year over year. Mobile revenue represented 76% of total revenues, compared to 65% for the fourth quarter of 2016. Total revenues totaled RMB 84.8 billion ($13.03 billion) in 2017, increasing 20% from 2016. Mobile revenue represented 73% of total revenues, compared to 63% in 2016.
“We are deepening user engagement with Baidu core products and helping Baidu customers optimize their ad spend on our platform through the use of AI,” said Qi Lu, COO of Baidu. “On Baidu’s AI-enabled businesses, we are focused on expanding our partner and developer programs for our open platforms Apollo and DuerOS, which we successfully showcased at Baidu World and CES events.”
“We delivered solid financial performance in the fourth quarter with revenues up 29% year over year to RMB 23.6 billion, exceeding our guidance,” said Herman Yu, CFO of Baidu. “Entering 2018, we plan to continue our strategy to exit non-core businesses and increase investments in Baidu’s mobile and new AI businesses, which we believe play to Baidu’s strengths as a technology leader and will sow the seed for Baidu’s future growth in autonomous driving and conversational AI, particularly in the home environment.”
Baidu’s operating profit was RMB 4.8 billion ($734 million) in Q4 2017, increasing 118% year over year. Operating margin reached 20%, compared to 12% for the fourth quarter of 2016. The whole year’s operating profit in 2017 was RMB 15.7 billion ($2.41 billion), increasing 56% from 2016. Operating margin reached 19%, compared to 14% in 2016.
Baidu showcased Apollo and DuerOS at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2018 and announced Apollo 2. Baidu launched Bear Paw account to improve the search experience and enable businesses and brands to engage with Baidu users.
Baidu launched Baidu Wifi Translator, a portable translation and hotspot device that audio translate several languages using advanced deep learning, voice recognition and other AI technologies. In partnership with Ctrip, Baidu’s portable translation and hotspot device is available in various airports throughout China.
Baidu released Apollo 2.0, which supports simple urban road conditions and introduced four new functions, including cloud services, software platforms, reference hardware platforms and reference vehicle platforms. Apollo supports four main computing platforms, including NVIDIA, Intel, NXP and Renesas. Baidu announced that the Apollo platform has 165,000 lines of code and is adding approximately 65,000 lines of code each quarter.
Apollo has garnered more than 90 partners, including some of the world’s leading forces in autonomous driving.
China’s Ministry of Science and Technology announced that Baidu Apollo has been designated as the national autonomous driving open platform.
Baidu formed a strategic partnership with Xiamen King Long United Automotive (King Long). King Long plans to produce Level 4 buses using Apollo by July 2018.
Baidu formed a strategic partnership with BAIC Group. BAIC Group plans to mass-produce vehicles with Level 3 autonomous features around 2019 and fully autonomous Level 4 cars around 2021 using Apollo.
Baidu partnered with automobile manufacturer Chery to provide functions such as smart voice interaction, smart online navigation, facial identification and interconnected entertainment to Chery’s high-end product EXEED TX. Chery plans to mass-produce Level 3 autonomous vehicles in 2020.
Baidu formed a strategic partnership with Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Corporation (JAC) for the mass production of self-driving cars. JAC plans to begin producing cars using Apollo in the second half of 2019.
Baidu formed a strategic partnership with Chinese car-hailing company Shouqi Limousine & Chauffeur to fast-track the development of smart transport through Apollo and DuerOS platforms.
Baidu and NXP Semiconductors have announced a strategic cooperation in autonomous driving. NXP will join Apollo and provide semiconductor products and solutions including millimeter wave radar, V2X, security, smart connectivity and in-vehicle experience technologies.
Baidu, NVIDIA and ZF are creating a production-ready AI autonomous vehicle platform designed for China. This collaboration is based on Baidu’s Apollo Pilot, an autonomous driving product targeted for mass production, the new NVIDIA DRIVE Xavier™ and ZF’s new ProAI car computer.
Baidu and Udacity announced the launch of Apollo’s autonomous driving online courses, which are designed to expand the base of Apollo developers.
Baidu launched the Apollo Global Institute to help close the global AI talent gap, leveraging Baidu’s technology centers in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Silicon Valley and Seattle.
Baidu plans to form a RMB 10 billion ($1.5 billion) Apollo Fund to invest in autonomous driving and expand Apollo’s ecosystem.
Baidu released DuerOS major upgrade version 2.0 with enriched solutions, Bot platform for developers and an improved voice interaction experience.
DuerOS has more than 130 partners building over 50 DuerOS-powered hardware products, including televisions, smart speakers, smartphones, smart headsets and more. DuerOS Intelligent Device Platform launched more turn-key solutions to cover various form factors, including televisions, smart speakers, smartphones, smart headsets and smart robots.
DuerOS Bot Platform has garnered over 7,000 skill developers and released over 100 skills.
Baidu formed a strategic partnership with Qualcomm to optimize Baidu’s voice assistant DuerOS for smartphones on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Mobile Platform, including the upcoming Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform.
Baidu formed a strategic partnership with NVIDIA to enable NVIDIA SHIELD launched in China to be equipped with Baidu’s voice assistant DuerOS, offering Chinese consumers a cutting-edge gaming, AI and home entertainment experience.
Baidu launched raven H, a smart speaker, as its first 1st party AI hardware. Three new DuerOS-powered smart devices were showcased at CES, including Little Fish VSI smart video speaker, Sengled smart lamp speaker and popIn Aladdin, a smart projector lamp for the Japanese market.