BEIJING: Baidu, China's leading online search engine, posted a 66% increase in profits in 2008 to 1.0 billion yuan ($146m; €115m; £102m), with its advertising revenues also rising by 83.5% year-on-year to 3.2 billion yuan. 

Chinese web users typically favour domestic portals like Baidu, QQ and Sina to international sites, and Google is one of the few major Western sites to have made inroads in country.

Overall, Baidu reported it had 284,000 "active online marketing customers" in 2008, up 32.7% year-on-year, and that the average revenue per advertiser was 11,200 yuan, an increase of 38.3% on 2007.

It also foreacst "moderate" growth for the first quarter of this year, but warned a number of customers "may scale back on marketing spending given the current market environment."

The removal of sponsored links associated with unlicensed health companies in Q4 2008 is set to hit 5% of its advertising income, but total revenues are still set to grow by over 30% to around 780m yuan.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff