Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc delivered strong quarterly financial results on Thursday, reporting a total revenue of 30.3 billion yuan ($4.7 billion) in the fourth quarter, up 5 percent year-on-year.
For the full year, Baidu reported a total revenue of 107.1 billion yuan, basically flat from the previous year.
"Baidu ended 2020 on a solid note with our business benefiting from improving macroeconomic environment and the digitalization of industrial Internet," said Robin Li, co-founder and CEO of Baidu.
"As we enter 2021, Baidu is well positioned as a leading AI company with strong Internet foundation to seize the huge market opportunities in cloud services, autonomous driving, smart transportation, and other AI opportunities. We also hope to capitalize on our huge Internet reach with more non-marketing services," Li said.
According to him, the company's focus on innovation through technology is paying off with Baidu Core non-marketing revenue growing 52 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter.
For the fourth quarter, revenue from Baidu Core increased 6 percent year-over-year to 23.1 billion yuan. And non-marketing revenue from Baidu Core reached 4.2 billion yuan, driven by cloud and other services.
"Despite an unprecedented year, our business returned to growth and our profits were solid in the fourth quarter," said Herman Yu, CFO of Baidu. "Through years of investment in research, AI chip design, developer community, patents and talent development, we are turning AI into innovative use cases."
For instance, Baidu AI cloud differentiating with AI solutions grew 67 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter, reaching an annualized run rate of $2 billion.
At the 2020 Annual ABC Summit, Baidu announced its plan to begin mass production of Kunlun II AI chip later this year, for use in search, industrial AI and smart transportation.
During the fourth quarter, Baidu spent 5.7 billion yuan on research and development, up 19 percent year-on-year, primarily due to an increase in personnel related expense.
When it comes to the mobile ecosystem, the company said its Baidu App monthly active users reached 544 million and daily logged in users hit over 70 percent as of the end of 2020, up 18 percentage points from a year ago.
Looking forward, the company will continue to invest heavily in technology to optimize its long-term growth, Yu added.