Baidu shares up on its debut on HK bourse

2021-03-23 12:04:11

Baidu's chief executive officer Robin Li gives a speech during Baidu's secondary listing celebration ceremony in Beijing, on Mar 23, 2021. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn] Shares of the Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc rose on its first day of trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange, joining the latest in a flurry of Chinese enterprises seeking secondary listing on Chinese bourses. The offerings give those previously Nasdaq-listed Chinese companies listings closer to the home market amid mounting uncertainties in the US market. Shares of Baidu rose 0.79 percent after opening at HK$254 ($33) on Tuesday morning. The company planned to raise around HK$23.94 billion in its secondary listing in Hong Kong at HK$252 per share. "As a company that always believes in technology, we are willing to invest in technology (research and development) for the long run," Baidu's chief executive officer Robin Li said during the opening bell ceremony in Beijing on Tuesday. "Only by maintaining continuous investment in technological innovation can we seize the huge market opportunities in smart transportation, autonomous driving and other AI-related fields." Positioning itself as a leading AI company with a strong internet foundation, the company will use the net proceeds for continued investment in technology, enhancing commercialization of its innovations centered around AI, growing the Baidu Mobile Ecosystem, enhancing and diversifying monetization and general corporate purposes. According to the Post Hearing Information pack published on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange website earlier this month, Robin Li holds approximately 57 percent of voting rights in the company. Baidu said it has been investing in AI since 2010 to improve search and ad monetization and has used its core AI technology engine Baidu Brain to develop new AI businesses. The document said Baidu held the largest portfolio of AI patents and AI patent applications in China as of Oct 30, 2020. And its Baidu Open AI Platform, with a developer community of over 2.65 million members, is the largest open AI platform in China, based on the number of developers as of Dec 31, 2020.