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China tech

Coronavirus brings traffic, but not revenue, to Baidu and Weibo

Major Chinese online platforms warn of advertising drop

TOKYO -- With millions of Chinese quarantined at home to combat the spread of the new coronavirus, Baidu and Weibo, China's top search engine and short messaging platform, have seen a surge in traffic to their websites, but are warning investors that their revenues are set to fall in the short term.

"Search queries for 'coronavirus' exceeded 1 billion during the Chinese New Year period," said Robin Li Yanhong, Baidu's founding chairman and CEO, during an earnings call on Feb. 28. Chinese people flocked to Baidu's search engine "to fact check and find the most reliable information," he said.

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