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China’s Baidu gains from Google

Warwick Ashford

Top Chinese search engine Baidu has increased profits and gained market share since Google indicated in January that it would stop censoring search results and move to Hong Kong.

Baidu's profits have more than doubled in the first quarter and the company has also gained market share at Google's expense, according to US reports.

Baidu announced revenue rose 59.6% in the first quarter compared with the same period in 2009. Shares rose 14.3% in after-market trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market to $710.51 a share.

The company said it has seen some benefit from Google's decision to move Chinese language operations to Hong Kong, but claimed most of the credit for the strong first quarter.

Baidu's share of all Internet searches in China rose to 64% in the first quarter, up from 58.4% in the previous quarter, while Google's dropped 4.7% to 30.9%, according to market research firm Analysys International.

Because Google's decision to flout censorship rules angered Chinese authorities, some of Google's partners in China have distanced themselves from the internet firm, fearing retribution.

Some analysts have called Google's move short-sighted as it could affect the company's future business prospects.


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