DAUs of Baidu App increased by 24% year-on-year to 161 million. Baijiahao, or BJH accounts, Baidu’s content network, grew to 1.9 million publishers. MAUs of Baidu Smart Mini Program totaled 147 million, up by 30% sequentially. 98.5% of iQiyi’s subscribers were paying subscribers. DAUs of Haokan reached 19 million.
Baidu reported total revenues of 102.3 billion yuan (US$14.88bn) in 2018, an increase of 28% year-on-year. Total revenues of Baidu Core were 78.3 billion yuan (US$11.38bn), an increase of 22% year-on-year. Net income attributable to Baidu was 27.6 billion yuan (US$4.01bn), an increase of 51% year-on-year.
In Q4 2018, revenue grew by 22% year-on-year to 27.2 billion yuan (US$3.96bn). Revenues of Baidu Core were 20.5 billion yuan (US$2.98bn), a 14% increase year-on-year. Net income attributable to Baidu was 2.1 billion yuan (US$303M), decreased by 50% year-on-year.
Baidu’s business highlights in Q4 2018
Search and Feed
In December 2018, DAUs of Baidu App increased by 24% year-on-year to 161 million. Baijiahao, or BJH accounts, Baidu feed’s content network, grew to 1.9 million publishers. MAUs of Baidu Smart Mini Program totaled 147 million, up by 30% sequentially. Baidu Smart Mini Program was open source to network partners.
DAUs of Haokan (short video) and Quanmin (flash video) reached 19 million and 4 million, respectively. Quanmin and Haokan were the two fastest-growing apps among the top 10 short video apps in China in terms of key metrics of total daily time spent, DAUs, and MAUs over Q4 2018, according to QuestMobile.
iQIYI added 36.6 million subscribers (or a 72% increase year-on-year) in 2018 to reach 87.4 million at year-end, 98.5% of whom were paying subscribers. It derived 3.2 billion yuan (US$465.6M) from membership services, a 76% increase year-on-year. Total revenues reached 7.0 billion yuan (US$1.0bn), a 55% increase year-on-year.
Baidu and iQIYI co-launched a hybrid OTT TV box with Sichuan Cable TV, enhancing the home entertainment experience through AI. This follows an earlier release of Gehua Little Fruit OTT TV box.
In December 2018, iQIYI completed the offering of US$750 million of 3.75% convertible senior notes due 2023, the proceeds from which, net of capped call fees, will be used to expand and enhance iQIYI’s content offerings and strengthen its technologies, as well as for working capital and other general corporate purposes.
In December 2018, DuerOS voice assistant installed base surpassed 200 million, up 45% sequentially, and voice queries on DuerOS reached 1.6 billion, representing a sequential CAGR of over 100% for the last seven quarters.
The DuerOS skills store has released over 1,000 skills in wide-ranging genres, such as Douyu (Tik Tok), Dragonfly FM (online radio), and CITIC Academy (online literature), and has a community of 27,000 developers.
DuerOS for Apollo now enables Smart Mini Programs for Baidu App to operate in the DuerOS skills store in vehicles, positioning DuerOS as the cross-platform voice assistant preferred by users and software developers.
Baidu released two smart devices powered by DuerOS in November 2018—Xiaodu Smart Speaker Pro (MSRP US$45) and Xiaodu Smartphone Car Mount (MSRP US$15), the latter serves as a smartphone charger with far-field microphones that allow users to operate DuerOS skills via conversational AI.
Xiaodu Smart Speaker and Xiaodu Smart Display were the best-selling smart speakers on JD.com, Pinduoduo, and GOME.com during the 2018 Double 11 Shopping Festival.
In the hospitality sector, DuerOS voice assistant is powering Baidu’s smart display to offer personal concierge in over 2,000 rooms across a score of hotels in China, particularly in 5-star hotels, including the recently opened InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland.
In December 2018, DuerOS and Xiaodu Smart Display received the prestigious 2018 China Red Star Design Award from the China Industrial Design Association, recognizing the two for innovation in user interaction and user design.
In January 2019, Baidu released Apollo v3.5, which supports complex urban-road autonomous driving. At CES, Baidu also introduced Apollo Open Platform, which is available to the developer community, and Apollo Enterprise, which encompasses solutions to support commercial production, including DuerOS for Apollo, valet parking, assisted highway driving and intelligent maps.
Apollo has been granted over 50 licenses for open-road testing for autonomous vehicles, including in Beijing, Tianjin, Chongqing, Changsha, and Baoding municipalities, as well as the Fujian province. Baidu believes Apollo has received the largest number of open road testing licenses in China to date.
Apollo signed strategic partnerships with First Automotive Works (FAW) and Volvo Car Corporation in November 2018 to support the commercial production of autonomous L4 passenger vehicles.
Apollo has garnered over 135 OEMs, Tier 1 parts suppliers and other strategic partners to date, including recent additions of Volkswagen Automobile, China Unicom, Kalray, Quanta Computer, and StarNeto Technology.
Cloud and Others
On the eve of Chinese New Year, Baidu Cloud infrastructure handled 20.8 billion user interactions for its CCTV Spring Festival Gala promotion, with peak volume reaching 10 million hits per second.
Baidu launched OpenEdge, an open source edge computing platform, which allows developers to build light, secure, and scalable edge applications, bringing AI processing to edge devices, like smart home devices, wearables, and other IoTs.
Baidu also unveiled two edge computing hardware solutions: BIE-AI-Box, a kit for in-vehicle computer vision designed in partnership with Intel, and BIE-AI-Board, chipboard for mobile detection co-developed with NXP Semiconductor.
Over 1 million developers have used Baidu’s AI Open Platform, which provides developers with access to Baidu’s comprehensive AI capabilities, including speech recognition, natural language processing, and computer vision, from Baidu Cloud to build their products and solutions.
Baidu is working with the Hainan province to broaden the adoption of blockchain by offering XuperChain, Baidu’s blockchain technology, to a wide range of industries. XuperChain helps multiple parties execute transactions without the need for a trusted, central authority, addressing challenges commonly faced in information security, copyright verification, supply chain financing, online trading, and other areas. XuperChain currently processes more than 55,000 transactions per second, far exceeding the industry average.
Baidu is working with the Beijing Internet Court to develop an electronic-evidence platform using XuperChain. As of December 2018, over 93 million patents were stored and protected on XuperChain’s copyright protection system.