China's Baidu Eyeing IPO for Online Video Firm iQiyi (Report)

2016/12/23 10:22:00 (Beijing Time)   Source:THR    By:Georg Szalai

Chinese internet giant Baidu is planning an IPO for its online video powerhouse iQiyi, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Baidu, whose shares are trading on Nasdaq, could list the stock in the U.S. or Hong Kong in 2017, it said, quoting sources. It is believed the IPO could raise $1 billion and value iQiyi at up to $5 billion.

Baidu and iQiyi declined to comment.

This summer, Baidu founder Robin Li Yanhong and iQiyi founder Gong Yu proposed to take the online video company private in a deal worth $2.8 billion, but they withdrew the proposal amid shareholder opposition. Critics of the deal said iQiyi was worth much more.

iQiyi, which in June reported that it had 20 million paid subscribers, said in October that it would spend up to $1.4 billion (10 billion yuan) on acquiring and producing content in the coming year.

Online video has been in focus in China all year. Earlier in 2016, Alibaba paid $4.8 billion for the 80 percent of Youku Tudou, another giant online video player in China, that it did not already own.

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