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Baidu says first-quarter revenue may tumble as coronavirus takes toll on business, advertising – Source Reuters Tech News

(Reuters) – Baidu Inc, China’s biggest search engine company, said first-quarter revenue could fall as much as 13% from a year earlier as the coronavirus epidemic puts the brakes on economic activity and advertising.

FILE PHOTO: Baidu’s logo is pictured at the 2018 Baidu World conference and exhibit to showcase its latest AI technology in Beijing, China, November 1, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

It expects revenue between 21 billion yuan and 22.9 billion yuan ($3 billion to $3.3 billion), falling short of an average estimate of 23.1 billion yuan, according to Refinitiv.

The higher end of the forecast range represents a decline of 5% from a year earlier.

“The rebound of the economy after the outbreak will continue to be a long-term project,” Baidu CEO Robin Li said in an internal letter obtained by Reuters. Its contents were later confirmed by the company.

The potential fall for first-quarter core revenue – sales made from advertising – was even steeper, with Baidu forecasting a…

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Source Reuters Tech News

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