Robotaxi Rally: Baidu (BIDU) Stock Pops as Apollo Go Orders Climb

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  • Baidu (BIDU) rose on the success of its Apollo Go self-driving project in China.
  • The unit said it may be profitable in 2025.
  • Baidu also has a chatbot named Ernie and over 1,200 AI patents.
BIDU stock - Robotaxi Rally: Baidu (BIDU) Stock Pops as Apollo Go Orders Climb

Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Chinese software company Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) stock rose on the news that its Apollo Go robotaxi business is growing and could generate a profit in 2025.

BIDU stock rose 2.3% overnight. It opened this morning at $97.59 per share, a market capitalization of over $34 billion. Shares are down 17% so far in 2024, 33% over the last year.

China’s Waymo

Baidu came to prominence for its search engine, sometimes called “China’s Google,” which still has over 50% of that country’s search market. Thus, the robotaxi business might be called “China’s Waymo.”

Waymo robotaxis have been drawing praise in San Francisco, although one was pulled over in Phoenix recently after it was confused by construction zone signage.

Waymo’s success, and China policies approving of robotaxis, have drawn investor interest. Apollo Go is handling 6,000 riders daily in the city of Wuhan alone, one of four markets it’s now serving. Beijing said it will support expanding the service into Hong Kong.

Apollo Go has also held talks with Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) on a robotaxi alliance. Tesla has integrated Baidu’s maps into its self-driving effort.

But it’s not all clear sailing. Beijing’s draft guidelines mandate having drivers or safety officers on board unless the taxi can be intercepted remotely. Taxi drivers also complain about the competition. Apollo Go says some on social media have been filing false accident complaints to discredit the company.

In addition, one of Apollo’s robotaxis hit a pedestrian on July 7. Users on social media are taking Baidu’s side because the pedestrian was walking against the light.

BIDU Stock: What Happens Next?

In addition to Apollo Go, Baidu has a chatbot called Ernie. The company has taken out over 1,200 patents involving generative AI (GenAI) over the last decade.

The renewed interest in Baidu may not be short-lived.

On the date of publication, Dana Blankenhorn did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

On the date of publication, the responsible editor did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

Dana Blankenhorn has been a financial and technology journalist since 1978. He is the author of Technology’s Big Bang: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow with Moore’s Law, available at the Amazon Kindle store. Tweet him at @danablankenhorn, connect with him on Mastodon or subscribe to his Substack.


Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2024/07/robotaxi-rally-baidu-bidu-stock-pops-as-apollo-go-orders-climb/.

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