China online travel giants cut a deal
Two of China?s largest online travel firms have agreed a share swap and partnership deal to create the country?s biggest internet travel service, Bloomberg News reported.
Internet giant Baidu, which controls the online travel site Qunar, will own 25 percent of rival Ctrip, Bloomberg cited a company statement as saying.
As part of the deal Ctrip will have a 45 percent stake in Qunar, it added. Qunar overall is valued at US$7 billion.
An expanding middle class is fuelling fierce competition for online bookings in China, a major source of outbound tourists.
Qunar is China?s leading sales point for airline tickets, while Ctrip dominates hotel bookings.