* IPO as early as 2018 could value firm at $8 bln-$10 bln
* iQiyi faces deep-pocketed rivals backed by Tencent, Alibaba
* Video service raised $1.53 bln earlier this year (Adds context, details; changes dateline)
BEIJING, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Baidu Inc's video streaming service iQiyi, a Chinese-style Netflix, is looking for an initial public offering in the United States as early as next year, which could value it at more than $8 billion, Bloomberg reported.
The video steaming service, which competes with Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Holdings Ltd's Youku Tudou, is set to start negotiations with banks and deal arrangers, Bloomberg said, citing two people familiar with the matter. https://bloom.bg/2wi1mLC
The listing could value the company at as much as $10 billion, still a fraction of U.S. rival Netflix's near $80 billion valuation. iQiyi had 481 million monthly active users as of the end of last year, data cited by Baidu shows.
Baidu and iQiyi representatives declined to comment when contacted by Reuters on Tuesday.
The video steaming service that hosts free and subscription services said in February it had raised $1.53 billion in new funds to compete with rivals in the country's hotly contested online entertainment sector.
That investment round included funds from Baidu, Hillhouse Capital, IDG Capital and Sequoia Capital.
China's online market for paid-for content has grown fast as the country cracks down on once rampant piracy, but has required huge amounts of investment from firms as they look to lure in viewers with premium shows from drama to sport. (Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru, and Cate Cadell in Beijing; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Muralikumar Anantharaman)