Tencent invested US$84.4 mn for 16% stakes into elong, a leading online travel service provider in China, and is the second largest shareholder of eLong. Expedia has acquired approximately 8% of the outstanding shares for US$41.2 mn and now holds 56% of the outstanding shares.

eLong and Tencent said they plan to deepen their cooperation in the future, including forming a business partnership to develop online travel products and distribute eLong’s hotel supply to Tencent’s huge active user base in China. eLong’s hotel supply portfolio now covers over 150,000 hotel properties worldwide, including more than 19,000 hotels in China, and more than 130,000 internationally through its seamless connection with Expedia.

“We are not surprised on Tencent interest in the online travel, given firstly Tencent’s previous experience to provide airticket and hotels during Expo period; secondly, Tenpay has around 32% market share in the Online B2C online travel payment market,” wrote Wallace Cheung, analyst of Credit Suisse in a note.

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Sherman So

Author of Red Wired: China's Internet Revolution, the first book to completely survey the nature of China's internet. (http://redwiredrevolution.com/) She previously was the lead China technology reporter...