50,000 rival fighters join unified South Sudanese forces

50,000 rival fighters join unified South Sudanese forces

Chinese internet giant Baidu on Tuesday reported a modest return to second-quarter profits, despite China’s slowing economy and tighter regulations that are rocking the tech sector.

The Chinese authorities have been particularly intransigent towards digital companies for almost two years, for practices hitherto tolerated and widespread in the collection of personal data and competition.

Several behemoths in the sector have thus been singled out, but Baidu has so far been relatively spared from the vindictiveness of regulators.

In this context, the firm published Tuesday a net profit of 3.63 million yuan (about 506,000 francs) earned in the second quarter.

A year earlier, over the April-June period, the Beijing-based group had suffered 583 million yuan in losses. They had widened in the first quarter to 885 million yuan.

As for turnover, it amounted to 29.64 billion euros in the second quarter, down 5% over one year.

Main search engine in China, Baidu derives a large part of its revenue from advertising.

But advertisers tend to limit campaigns due to health restrictions in the country which penalize activity and consumption.

Revenues from online advertising are thus down 10% year on year in the second quarter.

Baidu is also the subject of increasingly strong competition in this niche from its rivals Tencent (WeChat) or ByteDance (Douyin, Chinese version of TikTok).

The group has therefore embarked in recent years on an all-out diversification.

Baidu is particularly present in artificial intelligence, with the development of autonomous cars, and dematerialized computing (“cloud”).

The group also has an iQiyi streaming platform, a sort of Chinese-style Netflix. It totaled 98 million subscribers in the second quarter, against another 101 million at the start of the year.

Baidu’s quarterly results are published in a difficult context for the digital giants, under pressure from Beijing for months.

Last week, Chinese e-commerce giant announced historically low quarterly revenue growth.

At the start of the month, the internet and video game juggernaut Tencent revealed a decline in its quarterly sales for the first time since its IPO in 2004.

This article has been published automatically. Sources: ats / awp / afp

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