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FILE PHOTO: A Tencent sign is seen during the fourth World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, December 4, 2017.
(Photo: REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD)

Baidu Inc. (BIDU) is no longer included in the list of China's Top 5 internet companies this year, accentuating the growing challenges that the Chinese company is being faced with in the midst of a sliding economy and rising competition.

Latest figures late Thursday showed that Baidu settled at $94.34, highlighting a minus-0.54 percent shift from a day earlier. This decline dragged the S&P 500's 0.26 percent gain in the same session. In the same chart, the Dow Jones Industrial added 0.4 percent, while tech-heavy NASDAQ shed 0.08 percent.

NetEase Inc., the second-biggest gaming service in China, has beaten Baidu in market value after registering better-than-estimated sales for the current quarter, last week. NetEase has advanced 12 percent so far this year, while Baidu collapsed 41 percent.

Baidu once hailed as a pillar in the Chinese internet triad together with Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group has lost $66 billion in capitalization since the company boomed in May last year. Market observers considered the size of the company the same as that of American banking empire, Morgan Stanley.

Alibaba Group, operator and owner of the South China Morning Post and was scheduled to announce its quarterly output Thursday, had a market cap of $422 billion. Tencent, the social media and gaming giant that released a better-than-expected sales Wednesday, was second at $406 billion.

BIDU hopes to be able to regain lost momentum as the internet giant approaches its next earnings report, which is set on August 19, 2019. The company is projected to post an earnings-per-share of $0.95, down 70.45 percent from its last quarter. Analysts' latest consensus calls for total sales of $3.78 billion, down 4.01 percent from the previous year.

The Chinese multinational tech has fought hard to deal with rising competition from other companies like ByteDance Inc., which is also attracting smartphone fans and advertising firms to their social media and video apps.

Baidu, for quite some time, took a huge portion of earnings from China's internet market after Google Inc left the business in 2010 over government censorship. This week, rival ByteDance introduced its own exclusive browser, posing a big threat to the nearly 20-year old Baidu. But Baidu has shot down the notion of a new rivalry, pointing out that the company remains a force to be reckoned with in the market.