Restrictions announced in multiple Chinese cities to contain the spread of Covid-19 appear to have boosted demand for Baidu’s cloud service and artificial intelligence products.
The company topped quarterly revenue estimates on Thursday, thanks to its strong push into cloud services, robotaxis and autonomous driving in recent years.
Total revenue came in at 28.4 billion yuan ($4.22 billion) in the first quarter, compared with analysts’ average estimate of 27.82 billion yuan, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Net loss attributable to Baidu fell to 885 million yuan, or 2.87 yuan per American Depository Share (ADS), in the quarter ended March 31, compared with a profit of 25.65 billion yuan, or 73.76 yuan per ADS, a year earlier.
Baidu, which is often described as China’s equivalent to Google, has seen competition rise for its core search platform and advertisement business.
But last month it received permits to deploy robotaxis without humans in the driving seat on open Chinese roads for the first time.
• Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard