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Alibaba, Baidu Turn `Kingmakers' as China Sees Dealmaking Surge

  • Internet deals almost quadruple to $56 billion this year
  • Tech founders muscled out as big money calls the shots
Updated on

To understand why China is in the midst of a surge in dealmaking and why that won’t slow down anytime soon, consider the arranged marriage of two of the country’s largest travel websites.

Qunar Cayman Islands Ltd. and Ctrip.com International Ltd. were bitter rivals for years, bickering in public and sacrificing profits to grab customers in the growing China market. Then Qunar’s largest shareholder, Baidu Inc., forced it into a deal that gave Ctrip control over the combined entity, according to a person familiar with the matter. Qunar’s management learned their fate only two days before the announcement, the person said.