China’s Baidu invests in mobile business, sees US$498 mil. profit


BEIJING–Baidu Inc., which operates China’s most popular search engine, said Wednesday quarterly profit rose 1.3 percent as it invested to expand its fledgling mobile business.

The Beijing-based company earned 3 billion (US$498 million) in the three months ended Sept. 30. Revenue rose 42.3 percent to 8.9 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion) but sales and administrative costs more than doubled, due mostly to mobile-related expenses. Development costs rose 77.5 percent.

Established Internet services such as Baidu are scrambling to develop wireless platforms as Web surfers shift to going online via smartphones and tablets.

In July, Baidu announced it would acquire a smartphone apps distributor, 91 Wireless, for US$1.9 billion.

“We will continue to invest aggressively in order to position ourselves well in this rapidly developing mobile market,” said Baidu’s chief financial officer, Jennifer Li, in a statement.