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

|By:, SA News Editor

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.