BlackBerry (BB) Stock: Gains On Partnership With Baidu (BIDU)

BlackBerry Ltd (NYSE: BB) is having an incredibly strong start to the trading session this morning and for good reason. The company announced that it has entered into a partnership with Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ: BIDU). Today, we’ll talk about the partnership, what we’re seeing from BB and BIDU as a result, and what we’ll be watching for ahead.

BB Announces Partnership With BIDU

As mentioned above, BlackBerry is having a strong start to the trading session this morning after it announced that it has entered into a partnership with Baidu. According to the press release that was issued early this morning, the two companies will work together to speed up the deployment of connected and autonomous vehicle technology for automotive OEMs and suppliers around the world.

Thus far, BB and BIDU have signed a statement of intent. Under the statement, the two will work to make BlackBerry QNX’s ISO26262 ASIL-D certified safety operating system the foundation for Baidu’s Apollo autonomous driving open platform. BB and BIDU will also work together in an attempt to integrate Baidu’s CarLife, the current leader in smartphone integration software for connected vehicles in China, as well as its conversational artificial intelligence system known as DuerOS, and high definition maps to run on the BB QNX Car Platform, a platform designed for what is being called infotainment. In a statement, Li Zhenyu, General Manager of Intelligent Driving Group at BIDU, had the following to offer:

“BlackBerry QNX has established itself as the OS platform for safety-certified production-based systems… We aim to provide automakers with a clear and fast path to fully autonomous vehicle production, with safety and security as top priorities. By integrating the BlackBerry QNX OS with the Apollo platform, we will enable carmakers to leap from prototype to production systems. Together, we will work toward a technological and commercial ecosystem for autonomous driving, intelligent connectivity, and intelligent traffic systems.”

The above statement was followed up by John Wall, Senior Vice President and General Manager of BB QNX. Here’s what he had to offer:

“Joining forces with Baidu will enable us to explore integration opportunities for multiple vehicle subsystems including ADAS, infotainment, gateways, and cloud services… Baidu has made tremendous strides in Artificial Intelligence and deep learning. These advancements paired with their high-definition maps and BlackBerry’s safety-critical embedded software and expertise in security will be crucial ingredients for autonomous vehicles.”

What We’re Seeing In The Market As A Result

As investors, one of the first things that we learn is that the news moves the market. In this particular case, the news proved to be positive, and BlackBerry is benefiting greatly. However, Baidu isn’t seeing the same. Currently (9:44), BB and BIDU are trading at $12.73 per share and $241.36 per share respectively. BB is up $0.71 per share (5.91%) and BIDU is currently down $1.04 per share (0.43%).

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What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead

Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will continue to keep a close eye on BB and BIDU. In particular, we’re interested in following this relationship and excited to see the strides the companies make in the world of AI and autonomous vehicles. We’re also continuing to follow BlackBerry’s transition and strong new focus on software, as the company seems to be making strides at the moment.

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