Why China’s Tech Giants Are Betting Big on Online Travel

Travel With Sam

China’s top three internet giants Baidu, Inc., Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings have been making big investments to take advantage of China’s historic travel boom. More than $2 billion (RMB 13.7 billion) in accumulated investment has been deployed to the tourism industry as of the end of 2015 by just these three companies, according to Xinhua News Agency.

All three internet giants are targeting the online travel sector, which is a natural extension from their existing internet services. In 2017, China’s online travel market was worth $130 billion, according to 21st Century Business Herald, a leading Chinese business newspaper. As China grows to become the world’s largest domestic and international travel market, the online travel industry has attracted more than $10 billion in investments since 2010.

China-tourism-sportsBaidu is the biggest shareholder of Qunar.com (Chinese name means “where to go”), which is ranked as one of China’s top three mobile travel service providers, after Ctrip and Ali Mobile Travel. According to Qunar.com, more than one million hotel checkouts are made through its website every day.

Baidu invested $306 million in Qunar.com…

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