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Baidu Mobile Ecosystem Rides the Wave of the Fast-Emerging Intelligent Economy, Says Dou Shen at Web Summit 2020

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Baidu Executive Vice President highlights strategic growth initiatives that have transformed the company's mobile ecosystem into a comprehensive service provider

BEIJING, Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Dou Shen, Executive Vice President of Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU), today analyzed the rise of the intelligent economy and the resultant strategy of Baidu's Mobile Ecosystem Group (MEG) during a keynote speech at Web Summit 2020. Shen explained how Baidu's mobile ecosystem has been adapting to and driving the intelligent transformation of the mobile internet industry, leveraging Baidu's self-developed AI technologies to provide users with more robust digital services.

"The rise of the intelligent economy is an inevitable trend brought on by AI technology, and also the biggest priority for companies that value technology investments," Shen said at Web Summit, one of the largest technology conferences in the world that brings together executives from leading technology companies. With its leading AI technologies and commitment to innovation, Baidu's mobile ecosystem is well-positioned to thrive in the era of the intelligent economy.

Shen said the rise of the intelligent economy is bringing about change on three dimensions. The first is changes in devices and how users interact with them, as AI powers more and more intelligent devices that can communicate naturally with people. Secondly, new industry formats will come into being, spearheaded by intelligent transformations across various industries. Thirdly, Shen mentioned the impending shift in IT infrastructure, with AI chips, deep-learning platforms, or AI algorithms replacing traditional CPUs and operating systems as the backbone that will power the contemporary intelligent economy.

In response to the changes brought about by the intelligent economy, Baidu has identified three major growth opportunities, Shen said in his presentation, namely service-oriented transformations, humanization, and the adoption of digital technology and AI across industries. The Baidu mobile ecosystem is capitalizing on these growth opportunities through a three-pronged strategic layout—Baijiahao for content creators, Smart Mini Programs for content and service providers, as well as Managed Pages for advertisers. Together, these pillars offer comprehensive capabilities that meet users' fast-evolving needs, Shen said, and form a solid foundation for the long-term growth of Baidu's mobile ecosystem.

The first facet of growth generation is to carry out service-oriented transformations, as users demand easier access to services. Although search engines were once platforms that solely provided information based on user queries, Baidu has since repurposed the informative abilities of its software into an integrated service ecosystem, establishing a convenient interface that can be widely tailored towards comprehensive user needs.

"Baidu App is not only the largest platform for Chinese people to obtain information and knowledge, it is also becoming a comprehensive service portal," Shen said. "We have continuously enriched the types of services we offer by introducing a wide range of Smart Mini Programs that address various service needs. Users can pay their electricity bill, book travel, rent a house, and watch movies on various Smart Mini Programs, all without leaving Baidu App."

The second facet of growth identified by Shen is to enhance humanization across the entire mobile ecosystem, creating more authentic connections between people. Baijiahao enables direct links between users and its 3.6 million accounts.

"In the past, our creators were behind the scenes. We now use various methods to connect creators and users directly, to shorten the service process. Baidu provides opportunities for users to directly communicate with the creator in our search results and address more potential service needs along with relevant content," said Shen. Users can now use Baidu to form relationships with content creators, service providers, and merchants, through following, messaging, live video and so forth.

The third opportunity stems from the fact that an increasing number of industries are bringing services online by implementing digitalization and undergoing intelligent transformation. For example, online healthcare has experienced explosive growth this year amid the global pandemic. Baidu has offered free pandemic-related consultations on "Ask Doctor", its online medical consultation platform, allowing users to remotely access personalized medical assessments from doctors through their devices.

The optimization of Baidu's mobile ecosystem has allowed for improved user search experience, accurate information research, social media interaction and closed-loop purchase capabilities. In September, monthly active users (MAUs) on the Baidu App reached 544 million, up 12% year over year.

This thriving, comprehensive mobile ecosystem sets a strong foundation for Baidu to diversify beyond advertising into non-advertising services, such as membership, live streaming and online games. Aside from providing service solutions in different situations based on users' information needs, Baidu will facilitate in-depth cooperation with more partners to jointly develop a comprehensive portal that will consistently bring the most convenient applications to its users.

About Baidu
Baidu, Inc. is the leading Chinese language Internet search provider. Baidu aims to make the complicated world simpler for users and enterprises through technology. Baidu's ADSs trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "BIDU." Currently, ten ADSs represent one Class A ordinary share.

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SOURCE Baidu, Inc.