Baidu Inc’s video streaming business, iQiyi eyeing U.S. IPO for early 2018

iQiyi, China’s equivalent of Netflix, is expected to be valued between $8 billion to $10 billion.

As per a source with direct knowledge of the plans, iQiyi, Baidu Inc’s video streaming service, is eyeing a IPO in the United States, as early as next year.

Bloomberg has reported citing two sources familiar with the matter, that the listing could value the company anywhere between $8 billion to $10 billion.

The video streaming company, you can think of it as a Netflix’s equivalent in China, competes with Alibaba Holdings, and Tencent Holdings’ Youku Tudou for market share.

As per Bloomberg, the company is set to commence negotiations with banks and deal arangers for the upcoming IPO.

Even if iQiyi’s valuation hits it upper tranche of $10 billion, it will still be a fraction of its U.S. rival, Netflix, which has a market capitalization of $80 billion.

iQiyi has reported an active monthly users of 481 million.

Both, Baidu and iQiyi, declined to comment.

Sources have preferred the cover of anonymity since they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Earlier in February, iQiyi had raised $1.53 billion in a new funding round which saw the active participation of Hillhouse Capital, Sequoia Capital, Baidu, and IDG Capital.

Despite rampant piracy, China’s online market for paid content is growing fast, however the move requires huge amounts of investments be sunk by firms to lure viewers with premium shows ranging from sports to drama.


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