“BAT” was once coined to represent China’s three largest internet companies — Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent.
Now, while Alibaba and Tencent are still favored by investors, Baidu is losing its luster.
At market closing in the United States on Wednesday, Baidu’s share price was at USD 94.85, taking its market capitalization down to USD 33.2 billion. Meanwhile, NetEase, which operates in the gaming, music, and e-commerce sectors, closed at USD 262.13, hitting a market cap of USD 33.5 billion.
The value of Baidu’s shares has dived by 40.2% since the start of this year. In the same period, that of NetEase has gone up by 11.4%.
NetEase is one of China’s first internet companies. It booked RMB 3.07 billion (USD 447.4 million) in net income in the second quarter of this year, up by 46% year-on-year. Baidu reported its first ever quarterly loss in May, triggering a selloff.
Baidu is experiencing pressure from all sides. China’s most valuable startup, ByteDance, which has popular apps including short video app TikTok and content aggregator app Toutiao, has unveiled a search engine portal, threatening Baidu’s core business.
Previously, the market capitalizations of on-demand service provider Meituan and e-commerce giant JD.com also surpassed that of Baidu, giving investors additional reasons to look to other major technical companies.