Baidu CEO: ERNIE Bot to Contribute Billions of Yuan in Incremental Revenue in 2024

Baidu released its financial report for the fourth quarter and full year of 2023 as of December 31st. In the fourth quarter, total revenue was 35 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 6%. Net profit attributable to Baidu was 26 billion yuan. Non-GAAP net profit attributable to Baidu was 78 billion yuan.

For the entire year 2023, total revenue was 134.6 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 9%. Net profit attributable to Baidu was 20.3 billion yuan. Non-GAAP net profit attributable to Baidu was 28.7 billion yuan.

After the financial report release, Baidu‘s Chairman and CEO, Robin Li, CFO Luo Rong, President of the Intelligent Cloud Business Group Shen Dou, and Senior Vice President and President of the Intelligent Driving Business Group Wang Yunpeng attended the subsequent financial conference call to interpret the key points of the financial report and answer analysts’ questions.

Here is a summary of the Q&A session:

Citigroup analyst Alicia Yap: My question is about the management’s view on the company’s future prospects. How does the management view the macroeconomic situation in China in 2024? For Baidu, how does the management view the overall development prospects of the company in 2024? Looking ahead to the full year of 2024, what percentage of the company’s revenue does management expect AI revenue to account for?

Robin Li: Before sharing our views on the company’s prospects, let’s quickly review the company’s performance last year.

Last year, we actually faced a very challenging macroeconomic environment, but overall, the company performed steadily. We made significant investments in the field of artificial intelligence last year, and our operating profit (calculated using non-GAAP) increased year by year, with revenue also showing steady growth. More importantly, our generative AI and foundational model business have started to bring incremental revenue.

Currently, Baidu is facing many opportunities. The company’s core business is stable; in 2024, generative AI and foundational model business will bring us billions of yuan in incremental revenue, which will have a positive impact on our total revenue.

Specifically, thanks to Baidu‘s leading position in large language models and generative AI, more and more enterprises are choosing to build models and develop applications on Baidu Cloud. In addition, Baidu‘s mobile ecosystem has accumulated a large user base, and we will continuously update products, enhance business monetization capabilities through AI technological innovation. Considering our strengths in cloud and mobile businesses, I believe the company has the ability to achieve long-term growth. In the long run, we believe that the company’s growth rate will be faster than China’s GDP growth rate.

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