25 Jun '11, 8am

China's Baidu invests $306m in travel website

BEIJING: Chinese search engine Baidu has agreed to invest $306 million in domestic travel website Qunar as it seeks to cash in on the booming tourism market in China. Baidu, which dominates the Chinese search market after Google retreated following a spat with Beijing over censorship and cyberattacks last year, will take a majority stake in the travel search engine, Baidu said late Friday. "Travel has long been one of the top categories on Baidu, and the number of travellers in China has been growing very rapidly, so this is a market of obvious strategic importance to us," chief financial officer Jennifer Li said in a statement. Chinese tourism has ballooned in recent years along with blistering economic growth as an increasingly wealthy middle class travels around the country and overseas for leisure. The country's air travel market is growing fast with a total of 267 mil...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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