China's Baidu, iQIYI stocks win big on strong quarterly earnings

China's internet search provider Baidu and its video streaming service iQIYI notched double-digit gains around midday on Thursday after the two firms posted robust earnings for the third quarter (Q3) late on Wednesday.

Shares of Baidu and iQIYI surged over 12.3 percent and nearly 14.4 percent respectively. As of Thursday noon, the market capitalization of Baidu and iQIYI reached over 40.1 billion U.S. dollars and over 13.9 billion dollars respectively.

With the majority of its stocks acquired by Baidu, iQiyi has been listed independently in the U.S. stock market.

Total revenues of Baidu reached 3.93 billion dollars in Q3, up 3 percent year over year (yoy), as boosted by its online marketing revenues and the strong growth in iQIYI membership, cloud services and smart services, the company said in its earnings report.

iQIYI saw its quarterly revenues hit 1.04 billion dollars, up 7 percent yoy, as driven by a striking 30 percent growth in its membership revenue, which offset a 14 percent fall in online advertising revenue yoy.

As of September 30, the total number of iQIYI's subscribers rose to 105.8 million, 99.2 percent of whom were paying subscribers, the streaming platform said in its earnings report.

"Subscription business continued to serve as the major driver of our revenue growth, and we further executed on our multi-dimensional IP development strategy to create new monetization opportunities and diversify our revenue streams," said Wang Xiaodong, chief financial officer of iQIYI.

Baidu also continued to grab data traffic and market share through its app, which offers search, news and videos. The app's average daily active users surged 25 percent yoy to hit 189 million in September.

Baidu's newsfeed network also jumped 57 percent yoy to 2.4 million publisher accounts in September, which allow publishers to share content to Baidu's newsfeed and search.

"Our focus to combine search and feed and expand Baidu App's content and services offerings is improving user experience and drawing publishers and service providers to place more content and services on Baidu's hosted platform, which in turn draws more users," Robin Li, chairman and chief executive of Baidu, said in the report.

The search engine firm has also striven to expand its revenue portfolios by exploring high-tech areas such artificial intelligence and autonomous driving.

In September, ite DuerOS voice assistant witnessed its monthly voice queries surpassing 4.2 billion, up over 4.5 fold yoy.

Powered by DuerOS, Xiaodu smart speakers ranked first in China's smart speaker shipments in the second quarter, according to tech market analytics firms Canalys, IDC and Strategy Analytics.

China's first Robotaxi fleet with 45 autonomous driving vehicles. /VCG Photo

China's first Robotaxi fleet with 45 autonomous driving vehicles. /VCG Photo

The company also released in September China's first Robotaxi fleet with 45 autonomous driving vehicles in Changsha, capital city of central China's Hunan Province.

So far, Baidu has obtained a total of 150 autonomous driving licenses, accounting for more than half of the aggregate driverless licenses granted in China.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency