Chinese online search giant Baidu Inc. reported a 7% year-on-year revenue decline in the first quarter to 22.5 billion yuan ($3.18 billion), reflecting a drop in online marketing revenue amid the pandemic that was partly offset by growth in video streaming arm iQiyi.
Baidu’s revenue from online marketing decreased 19% to 14.2 billion yuan, according to the company’s unaudited financial results released Monday after market closing in the United States. Other revenue grew 28% to 8.3 billion yuan, driven mainly by strong membership growth in iQiyi, cloud services and smart devices, Baidu said.
Baidu posted net income of 41 million yuan, compared with a 327 million yuan loss the same period last year. Baidu’s New York-traded shares closed 7.74% higher Monday. Stock of iQiyi rose 2.12%.
Diversified revenue streams helped Baidu to stay resilient amid the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, said Robin Li, co-founder and CEO of Baidu.
“With the pandemic coming under control in China, offline activities are rebounding, and Baidu stands to benefit from a restart of the Chinese economy,” Li said.
Revenue from Baidu’s core business declined to 15.3 billion yuan, down 13% from a year ago, while revenue from iQiyi climbed to 7.6 billion yuan, up 9%. IQiyi’s membership revenue grew 35% year over year, but was offset by a 27% drop in online advertising revenue, according to the report.
IQiyi had 118.9 million subscribing members as of March 31, 99.2% of whom were paid members. The number of subscribing members rose 23% year over year, the video streaming unit said in a separate statement. IQiyi’s net loss widened to 2.9 billion yuan in the first quarter from 1.8 billion yuan a year ago,
For the second quarter of 2020, Baidu expects revenue to be between 25 billion yuan and 27.3 billion yuan, representing a decline of as much as 5% to a gain of as much as 4% year over year, the company said.
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