Search engine Baidu says profit up 36 percent
BEIJING (AP) — Baidu Inc., which operates China's most popular search engine, said Tuesday its quarterly profit rose 36 percent as an economic rebound helped to boost advertising spending.
The Beijing-based company earned 2.8 billion yuan ($448.7 million) in the three months ending Dec. 31, or 7.99 yuan ($1.28) per share. Revenue rose 41.6 percent from a year earlier to 6.3 billion yuan ($1 billion).
For the full year, profit rose 57.5 percent to 10.5 billion yuan ($1.7 billion). Revenue rose 53.8 percent to 22.3 billion yuan ($3.6 billion).
Baidu and other Chinese Web businesses have benefited from a rise in advertising spending and online shopping as the economy rebounded from a three-year low in growth last year.
Economic growth rose to 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter's 7.4 percent. The World Bank says it expects growth of 8.4 percent this year.
Baidu has expanded beyond its traditional search business to add music download, a travel business and cloud-based computing.
"Similar to the early days of the Internet, this is a time of boundless innovation, creativity and opportunity in our industry," said chairman Robin Li in a statement.
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