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Report: Baidu looking to buy Renren's daily deals unit

  • An "industry source" tells Marbridge Consulting Baidu (BIDU +1.5%) has been talking with Renren (RENN +6.5%) for two months about buying a controlling stake in the latter's Nuomi daily deals unit. However, Nuomi is said to prefer a minority investment.
  • The source adds Baidu has approached another daily deals site, Dianping, about a possible acquisition, while another source states Baidu is holding investment talks with the own of local search engine Ding Ding Map (30%-owned by Alibaba).
  • Baidu has been in an acquisitive mood lately, snapping up online video site PPS and top Chinese Android app distributor 91 Wireless for hefty sums.
  • Nuomi's revenue rose 102% Y/Y in Q1, but still only totaled $5.1M. Active paying uses amounted to 3.1M (+69% Y/Y). The business has been a drag on Renren's bottom line for some time; it hurt the company's Q1 net profit by $7.9M.
  • Renren is rallying thanks to the report, and perhaps also due to Sina's Q2 beat, which was driven by surging Weibo revenue. Renren's own Q2 results arrive tomorrow.
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