Baidu: Differentiation Via Innovation

Summary BIDU is ramping up its commitment to AI and driverless cars. Near-term benefit is difficult to quantify but long-term catalyst could be significant as AI takes over many aspects of consumer lives. Cautious on BIDU in the near term. More positive on the long-term prospect depending on execution over AI. Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) is planning to develop driverless cars with the plan to commercialize the vehicle in three years. Given BIDU’s need to diversify its revenue stream beyond online search, I see this to be a necessary area for BIDU as it looks to differentiate its business from that of Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) and Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) that already have a wide lead over BIDU in many of the fast growing internet verticals such as O2O and mobile payment. Although I remain…

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