Baidu's Profit Jumps on Strong Revenue

Baidu Inc. said Thursday its first-quarter net profit more than doubled from a year earlier as customer numbers and their average ad spending continued to grow quickly, and the Chinese online search provider gave a better-than-expected revenue outlook.

Baidu, which derives nearly all of its revenue from search advertising, has been overtaking Google Inc.’s share of the Chinese search market since Google moved its China search engine to its Hong Kong website last year over concerns about censorship and hacking in mainland China. Baidu’s results have surged in the last year as a new keyword advertising system has fueled revenue growth.

“China’s Internet penetration rate is still under 35% and search is now the most widely used Internet application in the country. This gives Baidu plenty of room to further develop the market,” Chief Executive Robin Li said on a teleconference about the results.

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