Pic: AP.

BEIJING (AP) — Baidu Inc., operator of China’s most popular Internet search engine, says its quarterly profit jumped 24.1 percent over a year earlier as its mobile business grew.

The Beijing-based company said Friday it earned 2.5 billion yuan ($407.8 million) in the three months ending March 31. Revenue rose 59.1 percent to 9.5 billion yuan ($1.5 billion).

In a statement, chairman Robin Li cited success in search and app distribution and said Baidu wants to expand in new areas such as location-based services.

China has the world’s biggest Internet market, with 618 million people online at the end of 2013. That included 500 million people — or more than 80 percent of the total — who go online wirelessly.

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