Baidu Inc. is buying a minority stake in Uber Technologies Inc., giving the car-booking company a boost as it expands in China, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Uber will receive cash and non-cash assets, including Baidu’s online resources as owner of China’s biggest Internet search engine, the person said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. The investment may be worth as much as $600 million, China National Radio reported earlier.
Baidu’s investment gives the search company a slice of the market in China that has been dominated by startups backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., the nation’s biggest Internet companies. San Francisco-based Uber this month completed a round of funding that valued the car- booking application at $40 billion.
Baidu will make an announcement on Dec. 17 about an investment with a U.S. startup that is now a household name, said Kaiser Kuo, a Beijing-based spokesman for Baidu. Kuo declined to identify the investment or comment further.
Evelyn Tay, a spokeswoman for Uber, didn’t respond to a phone call and two e-mails for comment.
Uber, which has raised $2.5 billion since its inception in 2009, is facing an increasing number of regulatory and legal hurdles with its app challenged from India to California.
Uber is now valued at four times that of other elite Silicon Valley startups, such as Airbnb Inc. Uber’s value also dwarfs Tesla Motors Inc., which has a market capitalization of about $26 billion. General Motors Co., the largest U.S. automaker, has a market value of $52 billion.
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