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[August 28, 2014]
Tencent, Wanda team up with Baidu [ITWeb]
(ITWeb Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) China's privately-held Dalian Wanda is set to launch a 5 billion yuan ($813 million) e-commerce joint venture with domestic Internet giants Tencent and Baidu, according to two sources familiar with the investment.
The e-commerce venture, which will be 70% owned by Wanda and 15% held by Tencent and Baidu respectively, is set to be announced later this week, the people said.
The venture will unite three of China's most powerful non-state companies. For Wanda, the tie-up with Tencent and Baidu opens the door to new opportunities in the world's biggest e-commerce market as the rise of smartphones creates new business opportunities.
Wanda is a commercial property, luxury hotel and film conglomerate controlled by Wang Jianlin, China's wealthiest billionaire with a net worth of $16 billion, according to Forbes.
Wanda, which bought US-cinema operator AMC in 2012, operates 83 department stores in major cities throughout China.
Shenzhen-based Tencent, a social media and video games mammoth, is China's biggest listed Internet firm with a market capitalisation of $156 billion. Beijing-based Baidu is China's dominant search engine provider.
In July, Wang Jianlin said Wanda was planning a 50 billion yuan e-commerce business without disclosing who the other investors would be.
A Wanda spokesman declined to comment, as did spokeswomen for Baidu and Tencent.
Naspers, the largest media group outside of the US and China, with a market capitalisation of R584.7 billion, has a 34% stake in Tencent, which is worth around R54 billion.
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