Baidu profits up in Q3 as mobile continues to boost revenues

Baidu reports growth in Q3 2017

Chinese internet giant Baidu has reported net income of RMB 7.9bn ($1.2bn) for Q3 2017, a 156% increase year-on-year.

Baidu’s total revenues increased 29% to reach RMB 23.5bn ($3.5bn), driven by mobile revenues which accounted for 73% of total revenues up from 64% in Q3 2016.

Online marketing revenues were RMB 20.1bn ($3.02 bn), up 22% year on year, however, Baidu reported a 7% decrease in online marketing customers which totalled 486,000 for the quarter.

Baidu’s video platform iQIYI, which this year inked a licensing deal with Netflix, contributed to the company's increased content costs, with a rise in the cost of revenues up 16.6% to RMB 3.9 bn ($586m).

The company, which is increasingly investing in AI and technology development, including driverless cars and voice products, posted a 24% increase in research and development expenses, which amounted to 3.2 bn yuan ($487m)

Baidu is in the midst of transforming the company from a search and marketing business into a mobile-led, AI-driven technology company.

Robin Li, co-founder and chief executive officer of Baidu, said in a statement, "In the third quarter, we made good progress in our strategic pillars to strengthen our mobile foundation and lead in AI.

"On strengthening our mobile foundation, our strategy to leverage Baidu's leading AI technologies to increase the user scale and user stickiness of Mobile Baidu is showing measurable results. On our AI initiatives, we continue to focus on developing platforms for smart device and autonomous driving markets, as well as leveraging AI into vertical sectors, such as financial services," said Li.

Herman Yu, chief financial officer of Baidu, said, "In the third quarter, we also spun off Baidu Deliveries, as part of a year-long strategy to free up the company's resources and management attention to focus on AI and projects with strong synergy that will optimise Baidu's long term value."

Danielle Long

Danielle Long is APAC Correspondent for The Drum with a remit to cover news from China, Australia and New Zealand. Danielle has 15 years experience as a marketing journalist and has worked on publications in the UK and Australia. She has interviewed some of the world’s leading marketing, advertising and creative brains and has written about almost every standout brand and marketing campaign from the last 15 years.

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