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Baidu.com Steps Into Sticky Rice In China

Chinese search engine company Baidu announced that the company has signed an agreement with Renren.com to acquire an additional stake in Nuomi.com held by Renren, making Nuomi.com a fully-owned subsidiary of Baidu.

The deal is expected to be closed in the first quarter of 2014. In Mandarin Chinese, "nuomi" means "sticky rice".

Launched on June 23, 2010, Nuomi.com has shifted business models from a group buying website to now positioned as a local lifestyle information provider. During the second quarter of 2013, the company claims to have achieved total trading value of about USD120 million, of which about 30% was from mobile users. Meanwhile, its active paid users reached 3.8 million.

In August 2013, Baidu announced plans to make a USD160 million strategic investment in Nuomi.com, which made it the largest shareholder with about 59% stake. The deal was completed in October 2013. Four months after Baidu's holding of Nuomi.com, the company experienced the first major adjustments. Its chief executive officer Shen Boyang departed and was replaced by Liu Jun, vice president of Baidu. Meanwhile, Gu Guodong, former vice president of Nuomi.com, was appointed chief operating officer of the company.

Liu said following Baidu's strategic investment in Nuomi.com, they smoothly integrated the group buying business and realized fast growth. Baidu is optimistic about the group-buying-oriented local lifestyle service market and that is why they decided to fully acquire Nuomi.com. This will lay a foundation for the in-depth integration of Nuomi and Baidu.

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