Baidu Inc (ADR)(NASDAQ:BIDU) is quickly becoming one of the hottest tech stocks in the world. Baidu stock is up about 15% over the last six months. The Chinese search giant, often known as the Google of China, is tapping into several lucrative industries, including driverless cars, AI, IoT and advertising to grow its revenue.
Baidu has no competitor in China when it comes to the internet search industry, as Google is banned in the country. Baidu has over 80% market share in the search domain in China. China has about 731 million internet users. This means that about 600 million people in China are still without the internet. Baidu has a huge opportunity for more growth in the future. The company will keep enjoying a surge in its user base for years to come.
Baidu is also readying to increase its content projects in China. Last year, the company entered into an agreement with Netflix to bring several Netflix shows in China. Baidu is already the owner of iQiy, which has about 400 million users. Analysts think that the increasing content operations will result in more ads dollars for the Chinese internet giant.
Baidu’s CEO, Robin Li, recently said in an interview with Time magazine that Baidu’s AI efforts are paying off. The company has now become an AI-first firm, with a special focus on driverless cars platforms. Baidu’s self-driving platform, Apollo, is getting a lot of partnerships from companies. Baidu recently ran a test campaign on the roads of Beijing, showing autonomous driving vehicles.
Apollo also partnered with JAC and BAIC Motor for volume production of Level 4 autonomous cars in 2019. Baidu recently announced at the CES 2018 that its Apollo 2.0 platform now has partnerships with giants like Intel and NVIDIA. Apollo 2.0 will power NVIDIA’s Drive Xavier processor.
On Jan. 26, Barclays upgraded its price target for Baidu stock to $250. According to data by Yahoo Finance, Baidu ‘s revenue is expected to increase by a whopping 22.5% in 2018. Analysts also project that the company’s earnings per share will rise by 3.5%.