China's Meituan.com and Dianping Holdings, the country's biggest online-to-offline (O2O) service providers, said on Thursday they are merging, marking the latest multi-billion-dollar consolidation in the country's booming Internet sector. Meituan is part-owned by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd while Dianping is backed by Alibaba's fierce rival Tencent Holdings Ltd.The merged company could be valued at as much as $20 billion, according to the Financial Times. It could pose a threat to the plans of Baidu Inc, China's top Internet search engine, which has unveiled plans to invest $3.2 billion in O2O over the next three years. Financial details of the deal were not immediately disclosed, but the transaction comes after Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache, two leading taxi-hailing firms, combined similarly in a share swap worth $6 billion earlier this year.
Baidu, Inc. (Baidu) is a Chinese-language Internet search provider (ISP). Shares of BIDU fell by 3.36% or $-5.03/share to $144.77. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $100.00 and as high as $251.99. On average, 4973810 shares of BIDU exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 6806985.