Chinese online travel agency 17u.cn announced raising RMB ten of million from the Internet juggernaut Tencent. The deal valued the travel site at RMB over 500 million, industry insider speculated.
17u has initiated the IPO process after the financing, according to people familiar with the matter.
Wu Zhixiang, CEO of the China southern Suzhou-based company told in an interview that Tencent took no more than 30% stake in the firm after the investment. “We now are the official partner of Tencent’s ecommerce and travel services such as buy.qq.com and travel.qq.com.”
Currently, Tencent’s travel online outlet (travel.qq.com) was operated through elong.com and 17u.cn. Tencent acquired 16% of elong’s stake with US$ 844 million, making it the second largest stakeholder of the long-established OTA.