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Baidu reports 7 percent drop in Q1 revenue

Ding Yining
Gains in digital services helped the Chinese search giant beat earlier expectations. The company also saw net income return to profit during the previous quarter.
Ding Yining
Baidu reports 7 percent drop in Q1 revenue
Imaginechina

Baidu said total first-quarter revenue fell 7 percent from a year earlier to 22.55 billion yuan (US$3.17 billion), beating previous projections after digital services picked up during China's lockdown period. 

The search giant returned to profit with 41 million yuan in net income, compared with losses of 327 million yuan a year earlier.

"Our strong revenue performance is a result of diversified revenue streams, including marketing services for wide-ranging industries, new artificial intelligence businesses and video streaming site iQiyi," said Baidu co-founder and CEO Robin Li. 

Online marketing revenue went down 19 percent to 14.2 billion yuan as offline business activities were mostly suspended. 

"With the pandemic coming under control in China, offline activities are rebounding and Baidu stands to benefit from a restart of the Chinese economy," he added.

Baidu's core search app had 222 million daily active users in March, adding 28 percent from a year earlier.

It also hopes to build a strong mobile ecosystem including video and other multimedia formats to strengthen monetization efforts as rivals like Alibaba, Tencent and Douyin are pushing into live-streaming and short video segments. 

It estimated revenue to be between US$3.5 billion and US$3.9 billion for the current quarter, with a potential five percent annual decline. 

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