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Baidu's Qunar.com mulls US IPO

Jan. 18, 2012 (China Knowledge) - Qunar.com Inc, a leading Chinese travel search engine owned by Baidu Inc<BIDU>, China's No.1 Internet search provider, is considering to launch its initial public offering in the U.S., said the travel search portal's CEO Zhuang Chenchao.

Zhuang noted that if the capital market is stabilized, Qunar.com will launch its IPO. But he declined to give a timeframe.

Qunar.com made a breakeven in 2010 and more than doubled sales in 2011 with a few hundred million RMB, Zhuang added. The firm also expects the over-doubled sales revenue for 2012 due to strong Chinese travel service market.

The travel search engine, which has sold its majority stakes to Baidu for US$306 million, has yet used the fund and intends to invest in mobile device applications, said Zhuang.

Analysts indicated that China may overtake Japan as the world's largest tourism market after the U.S. by 2013.

The revenue in China's travel industry is expected to increase 14% every year from RMB 1.5 trillion in 2010 to RMB 5.5 trillion in 2020, sources reported.






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