As expected, Chinese search giant Baidu posted strong first quarter results thanks in part to a gain in marketshare from Google. Total revenues in the first quarter of 2010 were $189.6 million, a 59.6% increase from the corresponding period in 2009. Net income in the first quarter of 2010 was $70.4 million, a 165.3% increase from the first quarter of 2009.
In the earnings release, Baidu’s chairman and CEO Robin Li also stated that new internet advertising product Phoenix Nest’s performance “continued to exceed” expectations. Baidu likely saw a flux in revenue from the product as it just replaced Baidu Bidding rank in December. Baidu was expected to see gains thanks to stronger paid search revenue as Google’s censorship issues with China escalated. Google shut down its Chinese search engine in late March in response to the widely reported cyber attack on Google in December 2009.
And since Google’s decision to shift products away from China, Baidu’s stock has soared. Of course, Baidu has always had a strong position in China. Baidu already had double its market share in China even before Mountain View publicly disclosed its plans to possibly shutter its Chinese operations, and Baidu is now operating the third largest search engine in the world.
Baidu also recently co-invested $50 million in a giant online shopping mall, and raised another $50 million for its new online video endeavor in China, so it’s poised for growth in other areas than search.