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Baidu "rebirth": to give up mobile Internet bets on artificial intelligence

via:博客园     time:2018/1/24 16:32:45     readed:301

百度李彦宏

Baidu Robin Li

Text / L

Extremely Tai Lai.

January 17, 2017, Baidu announced that former Microsoft Global Executive Vice President Lu Qi joined Baidu Group President and COO, and a week before Ma Dongmin returned to Baidu, "CEO Special Assistant".

A year later, on January 19, 2018, Robin Li became the first Chinese Internet entrepreneur to board the cover of Time Magazine, with a market value of $ 88.8 billion on that day, marking the perfect end for 2017 in Baidu's turnaround.

But if the time to move forward for a year and a half, no one may think of it, Baidu's future will be like this.

On May 1, 2016, an article titled "A Young Man Who died in the Hospital of Baidu and Military Hospital" detonated public opinion.

"Wei Zexi" death became the unbearable pain of Baidu.

In the six months since then, Baidu unfortunate became the object of opposition from all walks of media, so much so that was accused Baidu is "political correct", Baidu will be free from being scolded. Some even predicted that "Wei Zexi incident" will become Robin Li and Baidu's "Waterloo", as for the future of Baidu, no one cares.

Of course, in the end Baidu quite over.

However, up to now, there is still no way to measure the influence of "Wei Zexi incident" on Baidu, however, "Wei Zexi incident" can be said that Baidu will inevitably encounter some catastrophe, but also Baidu 5 The best annotation of the failure of the transition.

Baidu transformation, inch grass is not born

There is no absolute fairness in the world, but there is relative.

Such as giants, extremely powerful, physically strong, moving up and down, but there are weaknesses, turned slowly, clumsy movements.

Baidu is undoubtedly China's Internet community's "giant".

In the era of PC Internet, all start-up companies will deter Baidu's power in deliberately choose their own direction when deliberately avoided their sight, Robin Li himself suggested that start-ups should do BAT business can not see.

But there is no battlefield victorious generals, in the face of the trend of the times, the giant is just a drop in the ocean.

In just 1-2 years from 2010, the mobile Internet has destroyed the old Internet order by its drastic decay, and it has also destroyed the competitive barriers and advantages that most of Baidu has worked hard for more than 10 years because of the turn Slow, when Baidu found the situation is not good when it is too late.

With Robin Li's own words is "really a little panic", resulting in the next 5 years has been exhausted until "Wei Zexi incident" broke out.

To "Wei Zexi incident" as a node, Baidu lost five years can be divided into confused 2 years and trial and error of 3 years.

In the two years from 2011 to 2013, Baidu has been in a period of strategic mistrust. As Baidu's supreme commander, Robin Li has always held a boycott of the mobile Internet. Even at the Baidu Union Conference held in June 2012, Robin Li's point of view remains that "Mobile Internet like driving a car drunk driving, exciting but dangerous".

In September of that year, although Robin Li opined for a shift of one hundred and eighty degrees, it was still a proper business model to invest too much in output and worry about not finding a mobile Internet.

However, Robin Li is clearly aware of the crisis.

In the ensuing November release of an open letter to all employees propaganda, Baidu internal "to encourage wolf, out of petty bourgeoisie" and alert employees "to resist market changes will be very dangerous, it is better to reform their own lives," which Open letter also opened a Baidu shift to the trial of the mobile Internet big mistake.

In the months that followed, Baidu was seen outside.

Until July 16, 2013, Baidu was determined to shift to the mobile Internet by throwing a blockbuster on the Internet ring. The same day, Baidu announced a record $ 1.9 billion acquisition of 91 wireless, betting mobile application distribution.

For a long time to occupy the PC Internet portal Baidu, the first thing the transition mobile Internet think of is that we must hold back the entrance of the mobile Internet, even if they do not have to spend it again a big price to get it. Of course, the last mobile application distribution did not become the entrance of the mobile Internet, which is something.

In order to make a fuss at the entrance, the acquisition of 91 wireless is only the first step.

The second step is to push the application of light long tail application developers into their arms, claiming that light applications can achieve "no need to download, that is, instant access; subscription push, precipitation user"; WeChat public account and Tencent in January 2017 launched the WeChat applet combination?

This is not enough, Baidu realized that regardless of the mobile assistant is still light applications, the problem seems to be solved only online distribution, so in September 2014 the application of light refurbishment, the introduction of direct numbers, from connecting users and information to connect users and Offline service, but still failed.

From the acquisition of 91 wireless, to the introduction of light applications and direct number, Baidu's exploration of the mobile Internet can not be without efforts, but always see the flowering but no results.

The reason, the user search service using Baidu Although the frequency of high but low viscosity, massive search traffic can not be effectively transformed into long-term trading volume.

Although the exploration fails, the road goes on, just as the night is dark, and you have to stick to the dawn.

Time has come in 2015, O2O fire, from restaurants, US industry to fresh, automotive market, as if overnight traditional services can be combined with online, this is not the so-called Baidu to connect users and services?

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As a strategic attempt, Baidu completed a wholly-owned acquisition of glutinous rice nets in 2014 and launched Baidu take-away in the same year. It seems that Baidu stepped on the outlet.

Robin Li excited again in July 2015 plus the code, announced in 3 years additional investment in the glutinous rice business 20 billion yuan, said it would take two years, to Baidu from the PC-based Internet search engine replaced by mobile Internet-based Search engine

Baidu Takeaway also plans to invest 90 billion in five years.

However, the so-called tuyere came faster, go faster, Baidu is preparing to dry up their sleeves, O2O collapse tide but unexpected in the second half of 2015, which for a giant in the transition period, hit The extent can be imagined.

Of course, the biggest blow or "Wei Zexi incident".

Baidu's exploration of the mobile Internet failed to meet expectations, the backyard also lost the fire, throughout the second half of 2016 Baidu almost always spent in the media's shelling so much that this session of Baidu PR have changed the kind of live law, play Played a self-black flower live.

Just for a living law is not just Baidu PR this session, in fact, Baidu is the entire company, including Robin Li.

So we see Baidu since Lu Qi incurred under the command, they opened a drastic reform, Li Yan Hong rarely tough position "external to meet the new trend, the internal will have to clean the court, no market competitiveness of the product to withdraw On withdrawal, the customs clearance, the merger and. & rdquo;

百度集团总裁兼

Baidu Group President and COO Lu Qi

This is also only last August, Baidu has given the high expectations of the take-away business sell yourself what it. In October, Baidu abolished Fuzhou R & D Center, 91 billion acquisition of 91 wireless completely curtain call.

Baidu's early exploration of the mobile Internet landmark products light applications and direct numbers have long disappeared, leaving only Baidu glutinous rice is still tepid living & hellip;

At this point Baidu was completely abandoned the mobile Internet, the company shifted its strategic focus to Lu Qi as the fourth industrial revolution on the track - & mdash; & mdash;

Miss an era, fortunately not missed AI

Two months after Lu Qi joined Baidu, the third-period live-action reality show broadcast by Bei Ye was broadcast. This is a show that has nothing to do with the Internet. However, because of the participation of one person, Of wide concern, of course, this person is not Lu Qi, but Robin Li.

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As we all know, Robin Li has been shaping the public image has been gentle and overbearing president, the only slightly out of style is to participate in ice bucket challenge.

As for the reality show, and is to eat insects, pick up cow dung, climb the quagmire, the reality image of the destruction of the image, or greatly exceeded the expectations of the outside world, but perfect fit last year Baidu development - mdash; & ldquo; Wilderness survival "

Since the mobile Internet Baidu Yu Baidu, and there is not much to go, but fortunately AI.

Robin Li recently in attendance at a science and technology conference on lamenting "The day belongs to us finally came. & rdquo;

In its view, the nature of the search is an artificial intelligence problem, so Baidu into the AI ​​naturally, without the kind of panic when the mobile Internet era.

But really because Baidu do search for natural AI do?

In fact not unexpected.

Robin admitted that in 2011,2012 when the mobile Internet to Baidu not ready, no layout, then a little nervous, some changes in attitude. The same is the arrival of another era, why the mind can calmly right? In fact, the answer is this passage, because Baidu early layout AI.

Baidu's ambitions in the AI ​​field can be traced back to 2013 or even earlier.

At the 2012 annual meeting, Robin Li proposed the creation of a deep learning institute (IDL). In 2014, Baidu appointed artificial neural research expert Ng Nader as chief scientist and is responsible for Baidu's artificial intelligence laboratory in Silicon Valley and two laboratories in Beijing.

According to the Wise report on the U.S. technology website, Ng has formulated a strategy for Baidu to implement DuerOS, a dialogue-based artificial intelligence system and Baidu's brain. Baidu contributed to Baidu's early efforts in the development of automatic driving.

In addition, Baidu is still at different times set up an augmented reality laboratory, a big data laboratory and a deep learning and application of national engineering laboratories.

Also in 2014, Baidu launched the "Driverless Car" research and development program and set up the Automatic Driving Division in 2015. This is only a small part of the long list of AIs in Baidu's layout, but it is enough to prove that Baidu's forward-looking layout in AI field.

Interestingly, 2013 is also the year Baidu vigorously marched into the mobile Internet. As a technology man, Robin Lee obviously has a keen sense of technology change. Everyone does not know whether Robin Li was in the middle of a painful exploration of the mobile Internet for several years In the heart of artificial intelligence, the east wind blew early.

Equally interesting is the contrast between mobile internet and artificial intelligence in both ages and you will find a very different mindset from the Baidu company.

In the era of mobile Internet Baidu has been chasing the outlet, whether it is the acquisition of 91 wireless or bet O2O, because missed the best time to enter, afraid of letting go of every potential opportunity.

In the era of artificial intelligence, Baidu's strength is a lot stronger, for example, is also the past two years, red and purple share cycling and new retail, I saw Ali and Tencent shirtless, but not the shadow of Baidu.

The only reason to explain this phenomenon is that Baidu really found their own time.

Baidu strong recovery

Borrow Fan Ye's famous phrase "I can withstand how much slander, you can afford how much praise" This may be the voice of Baidu now.

Unlike the public opinion attacks that were still being carried out in early 2017, Baidu now has begun to reap more praise. It's hard to say that it has nothing to do with work-mad Luki's performance over the past year.

Lu Qi take office after taking office took three months to restructure Baidu's business.

First, speed up the venture capital companies engaged in the company & mdash; Baidu venture capital landing;

Second, the abolition of Baidu Medical Division has caused public outrage, employees forced separation or transfer of posts;

Third, sort out the business system of artificial intelligence, set up the secret division, reorganize the autonomous driving business, merge the three business divisions into one and report to them, and also wholly acquire Raven Technologies and invest in Wei Lai Automobile.

There are still mediations and reforms that have not been reported by the media and are not known to outsiders. However, less than a year has begun to take a positive effect.

The most obvious change came from the recognition of the capital markets. On June 26 last year, the market capitalization of Jingdong exceeded 612 billion U.S. dollars. At that time, the market capitalization of Baidu was 61.9 billion U.S. dollars. The market capitalization of the two companies was only 500 million U.S. dollars.

A large number of media are looking forward to Jingdong market value beyond Baidu, stay up all night ready to witness the BAT three giant ruled the Internet in China for many years into a historic moment ATJ, but the media did not wait for such a moment.

On July 5, 2017, Baidu hosted the AI ​​Developers Conference. For the first time, Baidu's AI eco strategy, technology, business progress and solutions were focused for the first time. At the conference, DuerOS, an interactive artificial intelligence system, and Apollo Platform, and for the first time raised the slogan All in AI.

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This has already made the capital market saw the initial results of Baidu's transformation AI.

Then Baidu also surpassed its stronger-than-expected second-quarter results, while the earnings report also proved the growth prospects of AI-driven information-flow advertising.

This directly stimulated the Baidu shares opened a strong upward mode.

创业邦制图

Entrepreneurship mapping

As of January 19, 2018, Baidu's market capitalization has reached 88.8 billion U.S. dollars. In less than six months, its market value has increased by nearly 27 billion U.S. dollars. Jingdong's market capitalization is still hovering around 60 billion U.S. dollars.

As Baidu continues to push forward its strategy for AI, its businesses such as information flow and applications like mobile Baidu and Ikki are increasingly benefiting from advances in AI technology.

In addition, Baidu has announced that it will launch mass production of driverless cars in a certain environment this year. After six years of layout and investment in research and development, Baidu is enjoying the joy of experiencing the pain of the transition.

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Of course, everything has just begun, the other two giants Tencent and Ali, of course, no idle, the future competition will not let Baidu feel relaxed, but this time Baidu not left behind, but Ali and Tencent slow half beat, then AT how to deal with it.

Looking back just this past year, AI burst red, the new retail boom, the king of honor and eating chicken games are also the key to the Internet is unavoidable.

Everything in the world is linked, Baidu has experienced all this, why not play a "chicken game".

In short, "China Technology", represented by Baidu, is emerging. Nowadays there are many well-known foreign media such as The New York Times and MIT Review, saying that the development speed of AI in China is catching up with the United States. Although all walks of life have different opinions, it is undeniable that China's original technologies, especially AI, are accelerating their rise.

Attachment: Li Yanhong became the first Chinese Internet entrepreneur to board the cover of Time Magazine

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It is understood that Time magazine has a routine, leading the people of the times, the avatar can be placed in front of TIME.

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