Baidu buys NetDragon's 91 Wireless

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A huge deal in China's IT space -- in fact, the biggest ever. Chinese search giant Baidu is snapping up Android app distributor 91 wireless for 1.9 billion US dollars. The deal is seen as boosting Baidu's mobile internet footprint -- but as Wang Yiqian explains, there are concerns about valuation.

A record $1.9 billion dollars. That's how much Baidu values the Android apps business. Buying 91 wireless will give the search giant 100 million users on the IOS and Android platforms.

With some tech watchers wondering if Baidu is overpaying, Baidu's vice president defends the value of the investment.

Li mingyuan, VP of Baidu, said, "I think it's a worthwhile investment. The acquisition of 91 Wireless would strengthen our mobile app distribution capability. I think our customers would also get a better experience through search and download apps. "

Tech analysts say Baidu is playing an expensive game of catch up in the mobile internet space. The trio of tech giants dubbed BAT--Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent--have been on buying sprees this year. So far, Baidu is seen as lagging--hence the aggressive acquisition. 91 Wireless was valued at just 350 million US dollars in April when it sought a listing in Hong Kong.

 

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