The Avanti Group are closely following the Chinese search engine, Baidu, as they settle on a $1.9 billion takeover of China's second largest mobile application platform, 91 Wireless.
The Avanti Group the equities research house based in Tokyo, providing professional trading and investment research solutions to institutional and private investors across the globe have recently drawn their investor's attention to China's largest and most profitable search engine, Baidu, having further secured its stake in the country's mobile computing sector by buying out all shares in the hugely successful appstore, 91 Wireless.
With current figures putting the number of mobile internet users in China at well over 550 million, expected to grow to over 750 million over the next year, this acquisition has put Baidu ahead of its competitors in a highly profitable market. Annual revenue from the mobile internet market was recorded at 150 billion Yuan ($24 billion) in 2012, analysts predict that the figure will double to over 300 billion Yuan ($48 billion) by 2014.
Baidu's revenue comes almost exclusively from its function as a search engine, accounting for as much as 98 percent of the company's takings, and draws over 82 percent of traffic nationwide from searches made through PCs and laptops. Baidu Inc. were previously struggling in attracting traffic through its mobile app, so the purchase of the country's second largest app platform serves a dual purpose, as well as incorporating existing users from 91 Wireless, the experience and expertise in mobile application development will push Baidu to the forefront of the market.
"This latest acquisition by Baidu will play a pivotal role in the future of the company. Already far ahead of competitors in terms of revenue generated through PC internet searches, Baidu will now also be one of the major players in the rapidly growing, mobile internet market," said Andrew Taylor Senior Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions at The Avanti Group.
Since the company was founded in 2000 it has seen unprecedented growth, with the first quarter of 2013 recording a 40 percent increase in total revenue and 5.6 percent increase in operating profit, from the same time period in 2012. This latest corporate acquisition, the company's largest to date, puts the company's market value at $29.7 billion, putting it well ahead of rival internet giants such as Yahoo, who are currently valued at $24.3 billion. While Baidu had previously relied heavily on searches through desktop computers and laptops, it already attracts 8 percent of China's mobile searches, which equates to more than 1 million active users using the company's flagship app daily. With 91 Wireless on board, conservative projections suggest that by 2014 Baidu is likely to have secured over 40 percent of mobile traffic.
"This takeover has given Baidu a serious foothold in this highly competitive market, all the evidence suggests that, thanks largely to the company's strategy of aggressive investment, Baidu is set to establish a near monopoly on internet searching within China," concluded Andrew Taylor Senior Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions at The Avanti Group.
The Avanti Group is an equity research house providing research and analysis outsourcing solutions for institutional financial traders worldwide, founded in early 2003.