One Reason Baidu (BIDU) Stock is Climbing Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Baidu are climbing 1.89% to $203.91 after Volkwagen's (VLKAY) Audi announced that it will enhance connected-car services in China with the country's biggest Internet search engine, Reuters reported.

"We are now taking our next big step in China," Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said at the carmaker's annual shareholder meeting in Neckarsulm, Germany. "The virtual and real worlds are merging."

Volkswagen's flagship luxury brand will integrate Baidu's CarLife, an in-vehicle infotainment platform, into cars. Users can connect their cars and smartphones through wifi or a USB cable, according to the company.

Based on Baidu Maps, CarLife will offer navigation and other related services to help drivers navigate.

Audi and Baidu signed a memorandum of understanding in January and will sign a contract on their partnership at the May 25-27 international Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Shanghai, Reuters added.

Going forward, Baidu will have to compete with U.S. tech giants like Google (GOOGL) and Apple  (APPL) who have already introduced connected car services like Android Auto and CarPlay, respectively. 

TheStreet Ratings team rates BAIDU INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate BAIDU INC (BIDU) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

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