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Last Updated: Friday, 27 April 2007, 09:27 GMT 10:27 UK
Chinese web firm Baidu prospers office
Baidu has a 60% share of the Chinese language search market
Chinese internet firm has reported a hefty rise in quarterly profits as more businesses pay to use its popular search engine.

The firm saw first-quarter pre-tax profits rise by 138% to $11.2m (5.6m), as revenues grew by 103% to $35.7m.

Baidu is China's most used Chinese language search engine, eclipsing foreign rivals such as Google.

The firm said it was spending more on its technology, sales and distribution functions to maintain its market lead.

'Effective platform'

Revenues from online marketing services - the amount that businesses pay to have their information prominently displayed on the search engine - rose 108%.

"More and more customers are realizing that Baidu's online marketing platform is a very effective way to promote their products and services in China," said chairman Robin Li.

Baidu said it expected sales to rise again in the second quarter to at least $49m.

Baidu is launching a Japanese site later this year.

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