Baidu.com, China’s leading search engine, reported a fivefold increase in fourth quarter net income as online marketing revenue more than doubled. China’s Internet market is the second largest after the United States, with more than 123 million people online.
Baidu.com’s revenue rose to 271.3 million yuan ($34.8 million) in the fourth quarter, from 114.9 million yuan in the 4th quarter of last year. Online marketing revenue more than doubled to 269.9 million yuan ($34.6 million). Looking ahead, Baidu said it expected sales to fall slightly below market forecasts in the first quarter of 2007 mainly due to the Chinese New Year.
“With our focus on tailoring our products to meet user needs and our commitment to making strategic investments for the future, we are confident that we will continue to lead the Chinese Internet search engine market”, said Robin Li, chairman and CEO of Baidu.
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I agree that Google is getting its act together after several missteps. It has currently moved into second place with 23% of the market share but has a long way to go to catch up with Baidu. It is interesting to watch as this plays out.
Baidu is certainly on a roll and everyone seems to be writing Google off, but I am starting to see signs of Google getting its China act together and I am betting on better things for it in the years to come. Google is not Ebay.