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Baidu beats market expectations thanks to iQiyi’s performance

Chinese tech giant Baidu has announced the results of Q4 2018 and the last fiscal year as a whole and things look rosy as its total revenues rose 22% annually to RMB27.2 billion.

In a statement, Baidu said the total revenues of Q4 2018 were RMB 27.2 billion, rising 22% year over year, while the net income was RMB 2.1 billion, decreasing 50% year over year. Online marketing revenues, including search, news and video apps, were RMB21.2 billion, increasing 10% year over year. Meanwhile, Baidu had approximately 529,000 active online marketing customers, increasing 15% year over year.

Interestingly, Baidu’s online video platform, IQIYI, fuelled the surge of revenue of Baidu as it reached RMB seven billion in Q4 2018, increasing 55% year over year. In 2018, iQIYI added 36.6 million subscribers to reach 87.4 million at year-end.

However, iQIYI was also the source of soaring content costs. Content costs were RMB 7.3 billion, increasing 96% year over year, mainly due to increased investments in iQIYI content and in content for Baijiahao accounts, Baidu feeds’ content network.

Total revenues in 2018 were RMB 102.3 billion, increasing 28% from 2017, or 31% year over year excluding the impact of announced divestitures.

Robin Li, CEO of Baidu stated, “2018 was a pivotal year for Baidu, as we worked on deploying AI technologies beyond search to feed, voice assistant, AI solutions and autonomous driving, to enable more users, customers and partners to benefit from Baidu’s AI,”

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