China’s Baidu reported strong sales and profit in the recently closed second quarter, on the back of surging online advertising revenues.
The Internet search engine said total revenues rose by nearly 25 percent to 26 billion yuan, marking the sixth straight quarter of revenue growth at the company.
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For the three months ended June 30, online advertising sales gained 25 percent to 21.1 billion yuan, said the Beijing-based Baidu, showing the video platform and newsfeed provider remained unhinged by the internet censorship spike to hit China in recent months.
The US-listed media company said net income rose 45 percent to 6.4 billion yuan, or 18.14 yuan per American depositary share/
“We are able to maintain a high standard and a close dialogue with [Internet] regulators,” Robin Li, Baidu’s chief executive, told investors in a conference call when discussing the earnings and the firm’s ability to dodge censorship restrictions.
Baidu’s streaming service iQiyi Inc. also reported better-than-projected sales with its subscriber base increasing by 75 percent to 67.1 million users.
The company continued to invest in Artificial Intelligence with research and development costs into AI doubling to 4 billion yuan in the latest quarter from 2 billion yuan in the first quarter of 2016.
The driver of the costs involved staff, particularly as the company lost it chief operating officer in May, Lu Qi. Qi was the spearhead behind the AI investment.
Looking ahead, the company said it expects third-quarter revenue of 27.37 billion-28.77 billion yuan, representing an increase of 23-30 percent year-over-year.