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China tech

Baidu slips from China's tech top 5, overtaken by NetEase

Once-shining search giant now trails ByteDance, JD.com and Meituan

  © Reuters

BEIJING -- "BAT" was once coined to represent China's three largest internet companies -- Baidu, Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings.

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 $94.85, taking its market capitalization down to $33.2 billion. Meanwhile, NetEase, which operates in the gaming, music and e-commerce sectors, closed at $262.13, hitting a market cap of $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 ($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 sell-off.

Baidu is experiencing pressure from all sides. ByteDance, which runs the popular short video app TikTok as well as content aggregator app Toutiao, has unveiled a search engine portal, threatening Baidu's core business. ByteDance is valued at around $75 billion and is China's most valuable startup.

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.

KrASIA is a digital media company focused on technology-driven businesses and trends across the Asia-Pacific region. It is under 36Kr, a tech news portal based in Beijing. Nikkei announced a partnership with 36Kr on May 22, 2019.

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