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经济学人:百度--下一个风口(1)

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Business

商业版块

Baidu

百度

Searching for the next big thing

搜索下一个风口

China’s biggest search engine turns to personal transport to drive profits

中国最大搜索引擎转向个人出行领域谋利

Robin Li smiled when asked at a corporate shindig in 2014 to reflect on his path to becoming, at the time, China’s richest man. “I’m just lucky,” he insisted. Mr Li, co-founder and boss of Baidu, a Beijing-based search engine, may have been trying to project modesty. But his words could also have been taken literally. Thanks to government censorship, Google is inaccessible in mainland China. That leaves Baidu as the unrivalled leader in Chinese search. Slowing advertising revenues, however, are now taking it down a different road.

在2014年的一次企业研讨会上,被问及如何成为当时的中国首富的李彦宏微微一笑。他坚称,“只是侥幸。”李彦宏是搜索引擎百度(总部位于北京)的联合创始人兼老板,他可能一直在试图展现自己谦逊的一面。但他的话也可以照字面理解。由于政府审查,中国内地无法访问谷歌。这使得百度在中国搜索领域难逢敌手。然而,广告收入增长的放缓使百度选择另辟蹊径。

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Baidu’s search dominance is indisputable. Its average of 538m monthly active users last year was nearly six times the combined total of the next three domestic rivals. Baidu’s share price has tripled in a year, taking its market capitalisation to $93bn. Riding this wave of investor enthusiasm, it has filed for a secondary listing in Hong Kong, with trading set to begin on March 23rd. The firm is expected to raise around $4bn. But the steep rise in Baidu’s valuation might seem unwarranted. Advertising, the main source of revenue, has suffered as the pandemic forced Chinese businesses to cut marketing budgets. Adverts on Baidu’s main search service brought in 66.3bn yuan ($9.6bn) in 2020, 5% less than the year before.

百度在搜索领域的主导地位毋庸置疑。该公司去年平均每月活跃用户量为5.38亿,是紧随其后的三家国内竞争对手用户量总和的近6倍。百度的股价在一年内翻了三番,市值达到930亿美元。在投资者热情的推动下,百度已申请在香港二次上市,交易定于3月23日开始。预计该公司将融资约40亿美元。但百度估值的急剧上升似乎是毫无理由的。由于新冠疫情迫使中国企业削减营销预算,作为主要收入来源的广告受到影响。2020年,百度主要搜索服务的广告收入为663亿元人民币(合96亿美元),比上年减少了5%。

Even as China’s economy recovers advertising is unlikely to propel Baidu’s growth as powerfully as before. In recent years the supply of digital ad space in China has multiplied, depressing prices. Businesses can now choose from an array of platforms on which to hawk their wares—from addictive video apps like Kuaishou to e-commerce upstarts like Pinduoduo.

即使在中国经济复苏之际,广告也不太可能像以前那样有力地推动百度的利润增长。近年来,中国数字广告空间的供应量成倍增加,导致广告价格不断压低。想要兜售自己产品的企业现在有一系列平台可供选择,从快手等令人上瘾的视频应用,到拼多多等电子商务新贵。

译文由可可原创,仅供学习交流使用,未经许可请勿转载。

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source [sɔ:s]

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n. 发源地,来源,原始资料

 
unwarranted ['ʌn'wɔrəntid]

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adj. 无根据的,未经授权的,无保证的

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transport [træns'pɔ:t]

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n. 运输、运输工具;(常用复数)强烈的情绪(狂喜或狂怒

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indisputable [.indis'pju:təbl]

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adj. 无可争辩的,无可置疑的

 
censorship ['sensəʃip]

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n. 检查制度

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investor [in'vestə]

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dominance ['dɔminəns]

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reflect [ri'flekt]

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