Top China Travel Booking Sites Qunar and Ctrip Agree to Share Trade and Trade Alliance – TechCrunch
The deal follows two major mergers between competing tech companies in China this year (taxi app companies Didi Dache-Didi Kuaidi and Yelp-type rivals Dianping-Meituan), though Qunar and Ctrip enter into a partnership. without merging. Bloomberg reported that the two companies have a combined value of $ 15.6 billion, so this is a major consolidation nonetheless.
When Qunar raised $ 500 million in new funding in June, he revealed that he had declined an offer to acquire Ctrip. A press release at the time said that it “remains[ed] open to further discussions with Ctrip as well as with other strategic players in our industry “- negotiations have now borne fruit after Baidu, the majority investor who made waves when he backed Qunar in 2011 , agreed to grant Ctrip a vote of 45% interest in Qunar in exchange for 25% of Ctrip.
Beyond mixing ownership, the companies said they would work together “on a broad basis of products and services.” Baidu said its existing relationship with Qunar – which it sees using hotel and flight reservations for its Nuomi services, maps and mobile search services – will continue, and it seems likely that the tech company will also begin to cooperate with Ctrip, now that it is a shareholder. .
âWe are excited about this transaction, which we believe will help create a healthy travel ecosystem in China. This important transaction will allow us to focus on providing the best travel products and services to our travelers, âJames Liang, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Ctrip, said in a statement.
âTravel to China is an industry with great potential. As a leading technology player in the industry, Qunar has become China’s fourth largest e-commerce company with tremendous growth momentum, âcommented CC Zhuang, CEO and co-founder of Qunar.
It’s unclear what has changed since Ctrip’s summer offer. Details of the offer were never disclosed, so it could have fallen short of Qunar’s expectations, but one interesting change has been the influence within the company’s leadership. Baidu never held a majority of the board, despite being the majority owner of Qunar, but three new meetings to the board in September gave him more influence and possibly contributed to the share swap deal.
Unlike some of the previous merger deals, neither company was faced with competition and neither was capital combustion at insane rates. This alliance seems to have many positive synergies, especially since tourism in China is growing while the country is tipped to become the world’s second largest supplier of tourists. Certainly, with Ctrip also invested in Tuniu travel booking agency and LY.com online travel agency, he is well seated.