Etao, the shopping search service under Alibaba Group, announced today to make inroads to online travel search, starting with a hotel search service. It sounds like a direct competition to Qunar, the online travel search majority-owned by Baidu.

Hotel.etao.com has indexed 300 thousand entries of hotel information from Ctrip and other five less-known online travel services.

Etao is working with AutoNavi, the digital map provider Alibaba invested in, to enable users book hotels directly through AutoNavi maps after doing searches, according to a representative at Etao.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com