Bloomberg reports the two entities are discussing multiple options, including a full-blown merger and a partnership. The talks are in the early stages and may not lead to a final deal, according to Bloomberg's two anonymous sources. The ownership structure and financing methods have also not been determined yet.
Baidu (BIDU) controls Qunar and owns China's most popular search engine. The company has been investing in and purchasing various services to strengthen its search service and help it contend with Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings (TCEHY) for China's 618 million Internet users. Shanghai-based firm IResearch believes China's online travel market could reach $75 billion by 2017, as the growing Chinese middle class spends more money on leisure and entertainment.
Qunar rose 9.41% to $29.43 at 12:12 p.m., while Ctrip.com rose 7.56% to $54.05.