Baidu Inc. is a Chinese language search engine that has announced that they have acquired a stake of iQiyi.com from Providence Equity Partners. After completion of the deal, Baidu will have a substantial majority stake in iQiyi.
iQiyi launched in April 2010 and was known as Qiyi until November 2011. iQiyi is the first online video platform in China to focus exclusively on fully-licensed and high-definition produced content. In August 2012, iQiyi was ranked the number one online video platform in China in terms of average time spent per user and number two in total monthly time spent.
The transaction is expected to close in Q4 2012 and is subject to customary closing conditions. iQiyi will be consolidating into Baidu’s financial statements. They will operate as a separate brand with their existing management team.
“Online video is a key strategic vertical for Baidu as user numbers and time-spend continue to increase exponentially, underscoring the tremendous potential in the sector,” stated Baidu chairman and CEO Robin Li. “We are very pleased with the progress iQiyi has made and have confidence that iQiyi’s management will continue to grow its leading position. Going forward, we see users spending more and more time on online video and we will integrate iQiyi’s content more seamlessly into Baidu’s overall search and mobile services.”