and Qunar, China’s two leading travel websites, yesterday announced a
strategic partnership in a deal that creates the country’s biggest
online travel service and taps into its fast-growing tourism market.
Under the terms of the deal, Ctrip.com will own roughly 45 per cent of
Qunar, while Qunar’s backer, China search group Baidu, will take a 25
per cent stake in Ctrip.com. 根据协议条
Baidu’s US-listed shares rose more than 9 per cent in premarket trading
on news of the deal. 这笔交易的
Shares in Qunar rose 24 per cent, while Ctrip.com shares were up 14.34
per cent. 去哪儿股价
The deal comes just five months after Qunar, which has a market value of
$5.2bn, rejected an unsolicited buyout offer from Ctrip.com, which has a
market capitalisation of $10.6bn. Both companies are listed on the
Nasdaq stock exchange.
Intense competition between internet companies in China means market
leaders are often under heavy pressure to subsidise consumers as a way
of gaining market share. But in recent months, investors have been
pushing these companies to merge and reduce marketing costs.
Qunar has been the fastest-growing online travel agency in China this
year, but the company has incurred heavy losses, and its margins come
under pressure, in part because of its discounting and coupon strategy.
Earlier this month, the need to consolidate triggered the merger between
Meituan.com and Dianping Holdings — which handle “online to offline”
services such as group buy, food delivery and restaurant reviews.
That followed the merger in February between Alibaba-backed Kuaidi Dache
and Tencent’s Didi Dache, the taxi-hailing applications, after the two
engaged in a costly subsidy and price war. 在那之前，
Online travel is booming in China as a growing middle class spends more
on leisure and entertainment. But the sector has also become
increasingly competitive, with rival internet giant Alibaba
beefing up its travel offering through its Alitrip website last year.
“We believe this [transaction] will create greater value to our
customers, partners and shareholders in the future,” James Liang,
Ctrip’s chief executive and chairman, said in a statement.
Robin Li, Baidu chief executive, said: “We are happy with Qunar’s
accomplishments, and we look forward to working with the leading players
in the industry.”