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BUSINESS & TECH

Baidu Finds Success, Weibo Takes Pause in First Quarter

A gamer plays Tencent's hugely popular 'Honor of Kings' on his smartphone in Jinan, Shandong on Jan. 9. Photo: IC
A gamer plays Tencent's hugely popular 'Honor of Kings' on his smartphone in Jinan, Shandong on Jan. 9. Photo: IC

A resurgent and refocused Baidu Inc. was the big winner among China’s top internet companies in the first quarter of the year, while an overinflated Weibo Corp. moved to the bottom of investors’ lists as its red-hot growth showed inevitable signs of cooling.

Baidu, operator of China’s leading search engine, saw its profit nearly quadruple in the first three months of the year, including a 127% rise in its underlying operating profit, as the company bounced back from a difficult two years. That marked the best performance among the Chinese quintet of Baidu, alongside e-commerce giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and JD.com Inc., and social networking leaders Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Weibo.

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