Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) a public listed NASDAQ Stock company and largest search engine provider in China has announced plans to launch another R&D facility in Silicon Valley so as to attract additional talents so as to keep pushing its artificial intelligence (AI) agendas.
The R&D footprint the second in the Silicon Valley will add 150 employees and will be a mile away from its current site at Sunnyvale in California that has 200 employees.
Artificial intelligence has become Baidu’s priority sector for development and one of the main drivers of the company’s revenue after the company lost much of its ground and market to competitors in China i.e. Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings. Baidu, according to a Bloomberg report, has around 1,300 engineers working on the technology on sites in the United States and China.
The follows the announcement of the departure of Andrew Ng, a world first-class AI expert from the company after three of service. During the three years, he served as Baidu’s chief scientist and his decision to leave the company has been interpreted by many as a blow to the company’s AI development.
Ng, who revealed his resignation in a blog post on Medium, an online publishing forum did not reveal his next step after resigning. He instead said he will carry on with his research and entrepreneurship in artificial intelligence field. “As the principal architect of Baidu’s AI strategy, I am proud to have led the incredible rise of AI within the company,” he said in the post.
Ng’s exist comes at a time when Baidu is consolidating its effort and focus and embracing cutting edge technology so as to jumpstart its ever shrinking profits. It also comes at a time when the company just finalized the hiring of a top Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) executive Qi Lu to oversee the company’s shift to artificial intelligence.
The two Silicon Valley facilities will be chaired by Zhang Yaqin a former leader of R&D operations at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and the current Chairman of Baidu USA