Baidu.com, China’s leading internet search provider, saw third-quarter profits rise by 91% to US$51.2 million on the back of strong usage during the Beijing Olympics, the Wall Street Journal reported. Revenue jumped 85% to US$135.4 million, within the 82-88% range executives had forecast in July. Baidu had expected to see a surge in usage during the Olympics but warned the period could see a reduction in business-related searches. In the third quarter as a whole, the company held a 63.4% share of China’s search market, down slightly from the 64.4% share posted for the second quarter, according to research firm Analysys International. Baidu’s lead over Google has also narrowed, apparently confirming the analyst consensus that competition in the search market is intensifying. Baidu expects fourth-quarter revenue of at least US$151 million. The company’s shares have fallen over 20% this year.
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