When it comes to Baidu’s voice assistant, DuerOS, making money doesn’t appear to be a huge priority now.
A vice president of the internet search giant said the company will continue investing in DuerOS without a timeline for profiting from the business.
Jing Kun, general manager of Baidu’s Smart Living Group (SLG), made the comments in an interview with Caixin last week. He was promoted to vice president of Baidu earlier in the week, days before the company announced its first quarterly loss in about 15 years.
Interactive voice technology is part of Baidu’s strategy to monetize new AI initiatives as its core search business flags. The company sold 3.3 million smart speakers embedded with voice assistant technology in the first quarter of this year, outperforming China’s other two largest players Alibaba and Xiaomi.
Sales of the smart speakers, however, have yet to contribute to Baidu’s bottom line. Jing said the company will continue to focus on expanding its market share all the same, by offering subsidies to buyers.Related: Sector Latecomer Baidu Offers $14 Smart Speaker