Baidu profits jump after mobile and AI push

Baidu’s profits jumped in the second quarter as the Chinese internet search group’s strategies for mobile use and artificial intelligence started to get traction. Profits attributable to shareholders for the New York-listed group rose 82.9 per cent in a year to Rmb4.415bn ($651m) in the quarter ending June 30. The profit result was about 50 per cent better than the median projection by analysts, according to Bloomberg. Speaking at Baidu’s results briefing on Friday, chief operating officer Qi Lu chalked up the company’s gains to more mobile advertising through the Baidu search app, as well as use of artificial intelligence that has improved the effectiveness of advertising placements. “The company has really improved search relevance and upgraded its user experience,” said Raymond Feng, co-director of research in Shanghai for market research company Pacific Epoch. Baidu started catching up with its mobile-savvy domestic rivals Tencent and Alibaba on mobile revenues by monetising its search app with a news feed feature last autumn, a function that was recently copied by Silicon Valley group Google. Baidu also on Thursday announced a partnership with US payments group PayPal to make it more competitive in the world’s biggest mobile payments market, which is dominated by…

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