Baidu buys app store of Netdragon Websoft for $1.85 billion

Chinese search engine Baidu will buy the app store of Hong Kong-listed Netdragon Websoft for $1.85 billion.

This is a cash deal and may be one of the largest IT deals in China.

Baidu’s purchase of 91 Wireless, one of the country’s top three app stores by monthly users, fits in with the diversification strategy of China’s biggest internet services provider.

Baidu expects to close the deal by the fourth-quarter of this year.

“The acquisition of 91 Wireless significantly strengthens our mobile app distribution capability,” said Baidu CEO Robin Li.

Baidu has a market capitalization of $49.5 billion.

The Internet search engine purchased 57.4 percent stake in 91 Wireless from Netdragon and the rest from other shareholders.

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