Baidu.com, China’s leading search engine, reported first quarter profits soared 143 percent on strong traffic growth and higher advertising revenues. Profits rose to $11.1 million up from $4 million in the same quarter of 2006. Total revenues rose more than 103 percent.
According to iResearch, an internet market research company located in Shanghai, Baidu.com has approximately 55 percent of China’s search engine market, Google has 21.7 percent and Yahoo China a distant third with 7.2 percent.
“We believe that the best is ahead of us,” CEO Robin Li said in a conference call with analysts. Li said traffic increased “quite quickly” after the Chinese New Year holiday in February but released no details.
China has the world’s second largest Internet population with 137 million people online and is expected to pass the United States in two years as the largest online population in the world.