Baidu Sees Poor Q4 2016 Financial Figures

Baidu has released disappointing financial results for Q4 2016. Its quarterly revenue of just over 380 million US dollars fell 2.6% below Q4 2015, whilst operating profit was 38% down on the same period. However, the company was keen to reassure investors that the drop was due to an advertising controversy that it suffered around the beginning of this year, and that this was now dealt with and the “impact was behind [them]”. Following the controversy in April 2016, Baidu lost more than 18% of its advertising revenue, causing its annual operating profit to fall by 14%. Baidu's CEO said that Baidu would be looking forward into 2017 with plans for its AI research, saying that it would “spawn innovations and products that we have yet to imagine”. Nevertheless, this reliance on AI was questioned by Mark Natkin of Marbridge Consulting, a tech research group, who said that Baidu was falling behind Alibaba and Tencent in China in the AI market due to it “in many cases” being unable to secure the necessary deals with other AI companies.