Acquisition Rumors Galore: Chinese Internet Giants Start Spring Shopping?

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Alibaba’s Jack Ma said they’d acquire innovations from outside.

It is rumored that Alibaba acquired Umeng, an app developer support service, and Moji, a weather app. Both are leading services in their respective sectors.

Umeng is among the batch of startups Innovation Works incubated before the latter shifted its focus on venture financing, and raised $10mn funding from Matrix Partners China. Rumor says that Alibaba spent $70mn for it. Founder of Umeng denied it. But an insider is sure of the acquisition , though not sure about the exact price (article in Chinese).

Jack Ma, who just stepped down as Alibaba’s CEO in the past January, said in his latest appearance last week that his company wasn’t so innovative as Tencent, a social and gaming giant in China’s Internet market, who created killer services such as WeChat and Alibaba’d fill the gap with acquisitions.

In early January, Alibaba reportedly acquired Xiami, a Hangzhou-based online music service, to revamp its digital music business.

Baidu Pockets Another Video Service?

PPStream , a peer-to-peer streaming video software, was rumored to be merged by iQiyi, an online video service wholly owned by Baidu, with  $350mn — most in cash. An insider said that both sides had signed a term sheet (source in Chinese). Zhang Hongyu, co-founder of PPS, posted a Weibo message to pick on a media report about the news, but he didn’t deny the acquisition rumor.

Ctrip may need a travel search service.

It makes sense for Ctrip to acquire Kuxun, a travel search engine, especially when its former CEO and co-founder, Liang Jiangzhang, came back to save the declining business. But Kuxun CEO, Zhang Haijun, said he didn’t know about it “if  the investment department had talks (with Ctrip).” Baidu took controlling stake in Kuxun’s direct competitor, Qunar, in mid-2011.

image credit: news.xinhuanet.com