Expedia, the world’s largest online travel company bought Chinese social networking service Renren’s stake in Chinese travel booking site eLong for approximately $72.4 million, a deal  values eLong’s American depositary shares at $23 a share.

“We’re pleased to have an opportunity to increase our investment in eLong as we see China as a key market in our efforts to expand internationally,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Expedia. “We have been very happy with the strategic and operational progress made by eLong and look forward to many more years of success.”

While Joseph Chen, CEO of Renren said that “Our early investment in eLong helped us build mutually beneficial commercial ties as well as generate strong returns for our shareholders.” According to Chen, Renren and eLong will continue to work on a number of joint initiatives, including Nuomi hotel group-buy which is one of the largest hotel group-buy sites in China.

Cui Guangfu, eLong’s Chief Executive Officer commented on the deal saying that “Renren will continue to be a valued business partner to us, and we look forward to future cooperation with Renren.”

Tencent, one of the largest Chinese internet entity invested US$ 84.4 million into eLong for 16% of the travel booking site’s stake and has became the second largest investor of eLong.