Baidu, the Chinese Internet search engine company, on Friday reported an increase in quarter earnings, widely considered as a recovery following regulatory investigations of the company in 2016.
Net profits jumped 83.5% to 4.41 billion yuan compared to the previous year. The increase is largely attributed to the company’s strategy shift to focus on mobile apps and artificial intelligence. Mobile revenue represented 72% of total revenues during Q2 2017, compared to 62% the year before.
A probe into the company’s advertising practices last year prompted the restructure. Since then, Baidu has been focusing more heavily on its AI, cloud and bid data services as well as video.
In addition, the company expects third quarter revenues to grow a further 30% the year-over.
According to Qi Lu, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Baidu’s latest mobile app also includes improvements in page loading speeds and smoother navigation to boost ad revenues. He added:
“Our Mobile Baidu App and our Feed product showed strong progress, and the solid increase of our online active customer base reaffirmed Baidu’s unique and compelling value proposition. At our inaugural Baidu Create AI Developer conference, we showcased our AI platform and eco-system leadership position and compelling long term economic opportunities. iQiyi also continued to solidify its lead in the online video industry.”
In addition, content ideas such as enabling consumers to use their mobile device’s camera to search, boosted time spent within the mobile app.
The news followed a strategic deal with payment service provider PayPal to boost access to PayPal among Baidu digital wallet consumers.
Guang Zhu , Senior VP at Baidu said:
“Partnering with PayPal on technology and product innovation will provide Baidu users with the ultimate cross-border consumer experience.”
The announcement comes after competitors Alibaba Group’s Ant Financial as well as Tencent have expanded their own mobile payment solutions.