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Chinese online travel service Ctrip (NASDAQ:CTRP) is setting aside a $500 million war chest for marketing and bargain promotions, anticipating – or perhaps stirring up – a travel e-commerce price war this summer. According to Chinese media, the market segment leader is starting its blitz this month, and is investing 10-times more than in previous years for the usual round of marketing mayhem.

Ctrip’s vice president of marketing, Tang Lan, told Netease Tech that the result of this biggest-ever price war will be seen in six months to a year’s time, and will cause the barriers of entry into the online travel segment to be raised.