Category: Baidu

June 5, 2019 Off

The Stanford connections behind Latin America’s multibillion-dollar startup renaissance

By Jill T Frey

The houses along the tree-lined blocks of Josina Avenue in Palo Alto, with their big back yards, swimming pools and driveways are about as far removed from the snarls of traffic, sputtering diesel engines, and smoggy air of South America’s major metropolises as one can get.

But it was in one of those houses, about a twelve-minute bicycle ride from Stanford University, that the seed was planted for what has become a renaissance in technology entrepreneurship in Latin America.

Back in 2010, when Adeyemi Ajao, Carlo Dapuzzo, and Juan de Antonio were students at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business they could not predict that they would be counted among the vanguard of investors and entrepreneurs transforming Latin America’s startup economy.

At the time, Ajao was negotiating the sale of his first business, the Spanish social networking company, Tuenti, to Telefonica (in what would be a $100 million exit). Carlo Dapuzzo … Read the rest

May 20, 2019 Off

China overtakes US in smart speaker market share

By Jill T Frey

The U.S. no longer leads the smart speaker market, according to new data from Canalys out this morning, which found China’s smart speaker shipments grew by 500% in Q1 2019 to overtake the U.S. and achieve a 51% market share.

The firm said shipments in China reached 10.6 million units, which was driven by “festive promotions.”

More specifically, Baidu had a huge quarter thanks to an exclusive sponsorship deal with China’s national TV channel, CCTV, on its New Year’s Gala on Chinese New Year’s Eve — one of the biggest entertainment shows in terms of viewer numbers. This promotion prompted users to download the Baidu app, which distributed more than 100 million coupons to an audience of 1.2 billion during the show, and drove awareness around the brand’s smart speakers, Canalys says.

In Q1, Baidu shipped 3.3 million speakers — putting it in third place behind Amazon’s 4.6 million and … Read the rest

May 17, 2019 Off

Baidu, China’s answer to Google, reports first quarterly loss since 2005

By Jill T Frey

Baidu, heralded as the Google of China, felt the heat from its continued spending on artificial intelligence and other next-gen technologies that have yet to reach the mass market as it unveiled troubled first-quarter financials on Thursday.

The company logged a net loss attributable to shareholders of $49 million in the quarter ended March 31, marking the first quarterly loss since it went public in 2005. That compares to net income of 6.69 billion yuan ($970 million) a year before. Content costs surged 47% to $917 million on account of continued investments in Baidu’s Netflix-like video streamer iQiyi, while research and development expenses stood at $621 million, up 26%.

In a letter to staff today, founder and CEO Robin Li acknowledged that Baidu faces a “grim situation” and reiterated the firm’s strategy to “invest in return for growth.”

Baidu remains as the largest search service in China, with a 67% … Read the rest

May 15, 2019 Off

Tencent’s mixed bag for Q1: record profit despite weakest revenue growth yet

By Jill T Frey

Tencent, Asia’s largest tech firm, had a horrific 2018 on account of a country-wide freeze on new game monetization in China, but there’s evidence it has turned the corner.

The company’s new mobile gaming hit Game for Peace has yet to kickstart the company’s recovery from a few weakening quarters, but its booming financial technology division has helped to neutralize the brunt to some degree.

The Chinese social media and gaming titan ended the first quarter of 2019 with its slowest revenue growth since going public to $12.69 billion, a 16 percent increase year-over-year. On the other side, net profit came in at a record $4 billion, beating analyst estimates in the process.

Though most famous for WeChat, video games have fuelled Tencent’s earnings and stock prices for many years. The lucrative segment took a hit during a prolonged licensing freeze last year that prevented Tencent from monetizing a few … Read the rest