The streaming unit of China’s most popular search engine denies it has immediate plans to go public.
Leading China search engine Baidu denied a Wall Street Journal report that it was planning a public offering for its streaming unit iQiyi.com that the newspaper said would be valued around US$1 billion. The Wall Street Journal cited “people familiar with the matter.”
However, the search company denied the report via an official microblog, stating that it had no timetable for a listing of iQiyi, which it acquired in 2012.
Baidu had received an offer to sell iQiyi in July for $2.8 billion, which shareholders ultimately rejected as being insufficient. The public offering would have valued the streaming company at about $5 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.
iQiyi.com is a popular site for streaming Western movies, and signed a distribution deal with 20th Century Fox earlier this year for films such as The Martian, The Revenant, and The Peanuts Movie. The site was set to stream the 2016 Academy Awards broadcast exclusively in China, until China Central Television’s (CCTV) own streaming unit 1905.com moved in and stripped it of those rights.
A 2014 Alexa ranking put iQiyi as China’s fourth most popular streaming site, with Youku-Tudou still leading the crowded market.