China's iQiyi considers U.S. listing as early as 2018

More and more of China's big three tech giants are spending heavily on content. Source Shutterstock

More and more of China's big three tech giants are spending heavily on content. Source Shutterstock

Baidu Inc's video streaming service, iQiyi, is looking for an initial public offering in the United States as early as next year, which could value it at more than $8 billion, Bloomberg reported.

The company is planning to soon start negotiations with banks and deal arrangers.

Baidu wants to continue holding a controlling stake in iQiyi upon the IPO via dual-class shares, they added. The process, however, is in its early stages and the final valuation could change.

Baidu, which is investing heavily in autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence must buy and create additional content to keep its lead amongst video platforms online.

Netflix has finally inked a promising deal with video portal iQiyi to bring its content into China. Source Shutterstock
Netflix has finally inked a promising deal with video portal iQiyi to bring its content into China. Source Shutterstock

IQiyi at $10 billion will have a value that is just a fraction of that of Netflix but surpass listed rival in China Leshi.

Baidu and iQiyi representatives declined to comment when contacted by Reuters on Tuesday. Tencent and Alibaba have said they are committed to spending more for content. Tencent, for instance, has splurged on Game of Thrones and National Basketball Association broadcasts.

iQiyi said in June it was in talks to share more data and revenue with partners, including Alphabet's Google, to bolster its platform.

Netflix passed the 100 million threshold of subscribers without any viewers in the most populous nation in the world, where the government censors limit the content type that is available to viewers.

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