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Google Eyes Stake in China Online Firm

Reuters
Thursday, 4 Jan 2007 | 12:44 AM ET

The world's top search engine Google will buy a stake in China's Xunlei Network Technology, local media said Thursday.

"We will announce the details of the deal tomorrow," Xunlei spokesman Jackson Zhang said on Wednesday, according to the China Daily.

Google is reportedly partnering Ceyuan Ventures, a Shanghai-based venture capital firm for the investment, the newspaper said.

Shenzhen-based Xunlei provides a person-to-person file sharing network and other downloading services. More than 80 million users have installed its software and its websites attract more than 50 million visitors a day, the China Daily said.

Baidu.com controlled nearly 57% of China's search-engine market at the end of June, according to Analysis International, a Beijing-based IT research company.

Sources have said both Baidu and Google, which has only 16% of the China market, are exploring options to expand their online video services in the world's fourth-largest economy.

The moves come after Google closed its $1.65 billion acquisition of top online video-sharing site YouTube. Baidu also launched its own Chinese-language video Web channel on a trial basis a few months ago.

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