Biz / Tech

Baidu doubles profit after private investments pay off

Baidu said net profit more than doubled to 5.3 billion yuan (US$852 million) thanks to rising advertising income and investment gains in private companies. 
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Baidu said net profit in the first quarter more than doubled to 5.3 billion yuan (US$852 million) thanks to gains from its investments in private companies. 

The Chinese search giant's revenue rose about 24 percent to 20.91 billion yuan thanks to rising advertising income and mobile revenue, representing 78 percent of total income. 

The company also continues to invest in artificial intelligence powered businesses, including its autonomous driving vehicle business and smart transportation and urban governance initiatives.  

Revenue from its online advertising business grew 23 percent to 17.2 billion yuan, representing 82 percent of total income. 

“We continue to execute our strategy to strengthen Baidu's mobile foundation and lead in AI, with our core business also exhibiting robust growth,” Chairman and CEO Robin Li said in a statement. 

Research and development costs were up 16 percent in the three months ended March, totaling 3.3 billion yuan. 

Its online video streaming affiliate iQiyi, which completed its initial public offering last month, contributed about a quarter of the company’s overall revenue. 

Iqiyi’s net loss shrank to 396 million yuan from 1.1 billion yuan in the same period last year.

Baidu expects revenue to be between 24.9 billion yuan and 26.2 billion yuan, compared to analysts’ forecast of about 24 billion yuan. 

Shares climbed 4.7 per cent in after-hours trading on the Nasdaq on Thursday. 

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