China travel websites Qunar.com and Ctrip.com may merge: Bloomberg

Tue Apr 8, 2014 5:50am EDT

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(Reuters) - Qunar Cayman Islands Ltd, the operator of Baidu Inc's travel website, is in talks with Ctrip.com International Ltd for a merger or partnership, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.

The talks are in early stages and may not result in a deal, the report said. (link.reuters.com/vat38v)

Qunar, which is 55 percent owned by Baidu, operates the Qunar.com travel website, while CTrip owns the CTrip.com travel website.

A Qunar spokesman said the company does not comment on market rumors or speculation. Baidu and Ctrip also declined to comment.

Baidu, which operates the largest internet search engine in China, acquired a majority stake in Qunar in 2011 for $306 million. Qunar went public last November and has a market capitalization of about $3 billion.

(Reporting By Ankush Sharma in Bangalore and Paul Carsten in Beijing; Editing by Ted Kerr)

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