China's Alibaba Group has announced a strategic investment in Qyer.com, a Chinese tourist information and online value-added service provider.
Financial details of the deal have not been released by either party.
A representative from Alibaba said that Qyer.com can provide outbound travel products, services, and content to the tourism sector within Taobao.com, allowing users to make their own buying choices. Taobao.com is a B2C online marketplace run by Alibaba.
With the integration, users will be able to find the balance among, prices, time, and places, to find the most suitable tickets and hotels.
Qyer.com was founded in 2004 and its core products include outbound travel assistance, forums, Q&A areas, destination information, and tips for low-budget travel. At present, Qyer.com claims nearly ten million users and nearly five million users visited with mobile devices. Of these users, over 92% reportedly spent over one week abroad during a single outbound trip; while about 99% of them expressed clear interests in outbound travel.
In January 2013, Alibaba Group integrated its tourism businesses and established an air travel business unit. To date, Taobao's tourism sector has become a major competitor in the Chinese online travel market. In 2011, Taobao's tourism sector already claimed trade value of over CNY10 billion.