Mobile continued to drive strong growth at Baidu, China’s most popular search engine, accounting for 77 per cent of total revenue in Q2 compared with 72 per cent in the same period of 2017.

In an earnings statement Robin Li, chairman and CEO of Baidu, said: “We had another strong quarter in Q2 with search exhibiting robust revenue growth driven by [artificial intelligence] AI-powered monetisation capabilities. We are excited about the newly launched Xiaodu series speakers and the adoption of DuerOS, which handled over 400 million queries in June, almost doubling the workload again over a three-month span.”

DuerOS is its conversational AI system which had an installed base of 90 million devices in June.

Regarding its Apollo autonomous vehicle system, Li said it worked with two companies to develop two fully autonomous level 4 (L4) vehicles. King Long Motor launched Apolong, China’s first fully autonomous L4 minibus. Production reached 100 units last month. Neolix Technology also released an L4 micro car for cargo delivery.

In July 2017 Baidu formed a broad alliance with more than 50 automotive and tech companies to transform its Apollo self-driving car platform into a global initiative. It holds strategic partnerships with more than 20 global and domestic auto OEMs.

The Baidu App, which offers search and personalised news feeds, continued to generate robust growth, reaching 148 million daily active users in June, up 17 per cent from the same period of 2017.

Net income in Q2 rose 45 per cent year-to-year to CNY6.4 billion ($941 million) on total revenue of CNY26 billion, up 32 per cent. Online marketing revenue grew 25 per cent to CNY21.1 billion.

Looking ahead to the third quarter, Baidu expects revenue to increase 23 per cent to 30 per cent year-on-year to between CNY27.37 billion and CNY28.77 billion.