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Baidu quarterly profit edges down 0.4 per cent to $460 million on mobile Internet scramble

BEIJING, China - Baidu Inc., which operates China's leading search engine, said Thursday its quarterly profit edged down 0.4 per cent as it spent heavily to promote mobile services amid an industrywide scramble to keep up with users who increasingly surf the Web on smartphones. Baidu earned 2.8 billion yuan ($459.9 million) in the three months ending Dec. 31, the Beijing-based company announced. Revenue rose 50.3 per cent compared with a year earlier to 9.5 billion yuan ($1.6 billion).

Baidu prepared to grow through further acquisitions in 2014: CEO

BEIJING (Reuters) - Baidu Inc is prepared to grow by making further acquisitions in 2014, Chief Executive Robin Li said on Thursday after the Chinese Internet company reported its fourth quarter earnings. Baidu's aggressive strategy to gain ground on competitors such as Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has spurred a buying spree. It bought the 91 Wireless app store in August for $1.9 billion and group-buying site Nuomi last month.

Kerry meets Chinese bloggers squeezed by Internet controls

Chinese bloggers urged US Secretary of State John Kerry to push for greater freedom online in China during a rare meeting in Beijing Saturday, asking for help to "tear down the great Internet firewall". The roundtable discussion, organised by the US Embassy, was a unique opportunity for the top diplomat to hear directly from China's bloggers amid reports that Beijing is stepping up its efforts to clamp down on political dissent.

Chinese bloggers press Kerry on Internet freedom

Chinese bloggers urged US Secretary of State John Kerry to push for greater freedom online in China during a rare meeting in Beijing Saturday, asking for help to "tear down the great Internet firewall". The US embassy-organised discussion was an opportunity for the top diplomat to hear directly from China's bloggers amid reports that Beijing is stepping up efforts to clamp down on political dissent.

Amazon asks customers to pick from TV pilots for show development

By Lisa Richwine LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc released its second batch of TV pilots on Thursday and asked for customer feedback to help determine which of the 10 shows to develop into series for its video streaming service. The company is investing in original content to attract customers to its $79-a-year Amazon Prime service, which competes for online viewers with services such as Netflix and Hulu.com. Prime also includes free two-day shipping for Amazon products.

Amazon warns of possible first-quarter loss, stock falls

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc missed Wall Street's profit estimates for the crucial holiday period and cautioned investors about a possible operating loss this quarter, pushing its shares down more than 4 percent on Thursday. The world's largest Internet retailer, which has spent heavily to forge new markets in cloud computing and digital media, expects operating results for the current quarter to range from a $200 million loss to a $200 million profit, compared with a $181 million profit a year ago.

China's Baidu paints New Year travel map from mobiles

Pale blue, fibre-optic-like lines linking dots in an outline of China emerging from darkness -- technology giant Baidu has launched an astronomical chart-style image of the country's New Year travels. The chart, tracking the mobile phone data of travellers using Baidu's map service, is a visual representation of the world's largest annual human migration and is available at qianxi.baidu.com.

VisionChina signs advertising pact with Baidu unit, shares jump

(Reuters) - Shares of Chinese outdoor digital advertising company VisionChina Media Inc jumped 52 percent after the company said it signed a deal to promote Baidu Inc's online gaming unit in China. VisionChina said it would be the exclusive digital mobile television advertising partner for Baidu Games and provide brand promotion in buses and subways in 2014. The company said it reaches bus networks in 88 cities in China and subway networks in 14 cities.

Amazon developing pay-TV streaming service: report

(Reuters) - Amazon is in the early stages of developing a pay-TV streaming service with live programming, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Amazon approached at least three media companies, according to people familiar with the matter the Journal reported. Representatives for Amazon did not immediately return a request seeking comment. Amazon now offers on-demand TV shows and movies free to customers who are members of Amazon's premium shipping service Prime.

Chinese-made Japanese input system banned in government agencies

The Japanese government alerted all its agencies on Thursday not to prepare confidential documents with Chinese Internet company Baidu's Japanese language input application following reports that the application is sending all keystroke information and user identifications to Baidu servers in Japan without consent. "We acknowledge the risk," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference. "We will make efforts to secure information security at government agencies as it is an important issue for national crisis management."
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