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Baidu to Ramp Up Investments in Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence

By Eric Volkman – Jul 3, 2020 at 8:31PM

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The company's ambitions dovetail with the Chinese government's "new infrastructure" initiative.

Baidu (BIDU -0.48%) is making a big push into cutting-edge IT segments. The company announced Thursday that it will be allocating more capital to investments in developing corners of the market, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, and data centers. This project will unfold over the next 10 years, in an attempt by the China-based company to build out assets for future tech needs.

This piggybacks on the Chinese government's ambition to develop what it calls "new infrastructure" throughout the country to dramatically modernize its economy.

Baidu did not specify how much it would spend on its new infrastructure efforts. It did say that it aims to deploy 5 million intelligent cloud servers by 2030. It would also like to train 5 million AI specialists over the next five years. It said it has already schooled over 1 million of these individuals, and has collaborated with more than 200 top Chinese universities to assist with AI and deep-learning curricula.

A person using a personal computer.

Image source: Getty Images.

Baidu believes that it already has a strong presence in certain segments. It says that at present, it's a "world-leading AI platform company." 

"Baidu is well positioned to make large contributions to the development of new infrastructure in China, which will support the implementation of AI applications in different industries," it added.

Baidu, known to many as the "Chinese Google" for its background in online search, has developed into a sprawling company involved in many aspects of IT. The company's American depositary receipts (ADRs) have been publicly traded in this country since 2005.

On Thursday, Baidu shares outpaced the gains of the wider stock market by rising 2.2% on the day.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Baidu. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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