Baidu’s profit soars to soothe concerns over rising investments in artificial intelligence

Internet giant Baidu reported an 82.9 per cent year-on-year jump in second-quarter net profit to surpass analysts’ expectations, soothing concerns over its escalating investments in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. The world’s largest Chinese search engine operator said on Friday that earnings in the three months ended June 30 reached 4.4 billion yuan (US$651 million), up from 2.4 billion yuan in the same period last year, on higher online marketing revenue and lower traffic acquisition cost. That smashed the consensus analysts’ estimates of a 21 per cent year-on-year increase to 3.4 billion yuan. Total second-quarter revenue rose 14.3 per cent to 20.9 billion yuan which is in line with analysts expectations, up from 18.3 billion yuan a year earlier. Its online marketing revenue grew 5.6 per cent year-on-year to 17.9 billion yuan, despite a 20.9 per cent decrease in active online marketing customers to about 470,000. Traffic acquisition cost reached 2.5 billion yuan, representing 11.9 per cent of total revenue in the second quarter, down from 15.9 per cent in the same period last year. Nasdaq-listed Baidu forecast its third-quarter revenue to range from 23.1 billion yuan to 23.7 billion yuan, representing a year-on year increase of 26.7 per cent to…


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