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China’s Baidu is Reportedly Looking to Buy Sizable Stake in Uber

December 12, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

 

Uber has been in the press for the wrong reasons as of later, with some serious incidents taking place both here and further across the globe, but it looks like their investors might have something to look forward to, as there’s news that Baidu, often referred to as the Google of China, is looking to purchase a stake in the company. It’s rumored that Baidu could be looking to purchase a large stake in the company for $600 Million. There are a number of reasons why Baidu might want to invest in Uber, but getting a leg up on their competitors is presumably the driving force behind the decision.

Bloomberg is reporting that Baidu is prepared to spend $600 Million to purchase a stake in Uber and that the announcement could come as soon as December 17th, with Baidu set to make an announcement concerning an as yet unannounced US startup. The deal would be advantageous for both Baidu and Uber, as the Chinese search giant is looking to get a slice of the market which competitors like Tencent and Alibaba are already invested in. Meanwhile, Uber could definitely benefit from a local player, and one as large as Baidu could do wonders for the brand’s exposure and push the application onto more smartphones than anyone else.

Since Uber launched in 2009, the company has managed to raise $2.5 Billion in funding from one source or another and with $600 Million coming from a big Chinese name like Baidu, it looks like the company is to build on a recent funding round that valued the company at $40 Billion. It’s hard to deny that Uber has taken off with great success these past few years, but it’s not been plain sailing. The company is often criticized for the way they carry themselves and how they handle public relations. Expansion overseas seems to be a way for the company to fuel their growth, and with Europe not exactly warming to the firm, it looks like Asia is Uber’s next big market.