(Yicai Global) May 15 -- Baidu Inc. is consolidating its culture and entertainment business. Baidu sold its Nuomi Pictures division for USD200 million to iQIYI Inc. which Baidu controls, and the Baidu Nuomi movie related team has also been recently restructured, Tencent News reported.
Neither Baidu nor iQIYI has responded to requests for comment.
Baidu acquired all the shares of Nuomi Holdings Inc. in January 2014 and renamed it Baidu Nuomi Pictures two months later. Since appointing Lu Qi as its chief operating officer earlier last year, Baidu has shifted its focus to artificial intelligence and accelerated efforts to offload businesses acquired earlier under its online-to-offline strategy.
Acquiring Nuomi Pictures, an asset that Baidu has now ditched, will seemingly bring few benefits for iQIYI, the latter, which went public [NASDAQ:IQ] just two months ago, needs to offer more storylines, especially as both of its two key rivals Tencent Video and Youku Inc., operated by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., have massive ecosystems. iQIYI needs to build its own ecosystem and Nuomi’s film and offline resources may be just what it needs here.
Baidu Nuomi Pictures is an integrated online-to-offline entertainment platform. It invests in, markets and produces films and performances as well as advertising, ticketing and technology businesses. It was deemed a leading online ticketing site in China alongside Tianjin MaoyanCulture Media Co., and Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd. in 2015. Maoyan ranked first among online ticketing sites, with a market share of 23.5 percent, followed by Nuomi Pictures with 19 percent, a ranking it retained until late 2016.
Editor: Ben Armour