© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Men interact with a Baidu AI robot near the company logo at its headquarters in Beijing, China April 23, 2021. REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo

(Reuters) -China’s search engine giant Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:) beat quarterly revenue estimates on Tuesday, underpinned by demand for its cloud and artificial intelligence-powered offerings.

U.S.-listed shares of the company rose 3.2% in pre-market trade.

Even as Baidu’s core advertising sales continue to be soft, customers are signing up for its cloud services – a key area of growth globally – as demand for internet applications increase.

Total revenue stood at 29.65 billion yuan ($4.43 billion) in the second quarter, compared with analysts’ average estimate of 29.30 billion yuan, according to Refinitiv data.

Revenue at Baidu’s AI Cloud unit grew 31% year-on-year in the reported quarter.

Compared with year-ago numbers, the topline came in 5% lower, its first quarterly de-growth in two years.

Baidu posted a net profit of 3.64 billion yuan, or 1.49 yuan per American Depository Share (ADS).

(1 = $0.1449)

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