Top Chinese web search portal Baidu.com Inc yesterday reported
400 percent growth in net profit in the fourth quarter, which
pushed the company's stock price on the NASDAQ market up by 1.5
percent to US$115.
Beijing-based Baidu, known as the Chinese Google, said its net
profits amounted to US$15.7 million in the past quarter, increasing
400 percent over the same period of 2005, which translated diluted
earnings per share into 45 cents.
"We are pleased to deliver another quarter of robust results as
our rapidly growing brand recognition and our focus on providing
the best user experience allowed us to strengthen our leading
position in Chinese search," said Robin Li, Baidu Chairman and
Its net income for 2006 was US$38.7 million, 534 percent higher
An increasing endorsement of the Internet from the ordinary
consumers and small and medium enterprises and an expanding
customer base has expanded Baidu's market share almost three fold
in the past year.
China had 137 million Internet users by the end of 2006, 23
percent more than at the end of 2005. The Internet market research
firm China IntelliConsulting Corp (CIC) said in September that the
market share of Baidu rose from 51 percent in August 2005 to 62
percent in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, the three largest
cities in China, while that of Google fell to 24 percent from 33
The Chinese search engine firm said its revenues in the fourth
quarter were US$34.8 million, with $34.6 million of that coming
from search-related marketing revenue.
However, Peter Lu, chief consultant with CIC, warned a slowdown
in the first quarter deserves special attention.
Baidu said that its revenue would be between US$34 million to
US$35 million this quarter, with a year-on-year growth between 95
percent to 103 percent, the first time its quarterly growth may
fall below 100 percent year-on-year since 2005.
The firm attributed the slowdown to seasonal factors, with the
Chinese Lunar New Year which arrives on Sunday falling in the first
quarter, usually the weakest quarter for advertising and marketing
Lu said while Baidu's growth comes mainly from the huge traffic
on its website, it should pay more attention to the quality of its
Baidu ranks as the fourth most popular website in the world,
after Yahoo!, MSN and Google.
(China Daily February 16, 2007)