(Yicai Global) Sept. 27 -- iQiyi, a video streaming website run by Baidu Inc. [NASDAQ:BIDU], is considering a US initial public offering as soon as next year that could value it at more than USD8 billion, yet the company said it has no timetable or specific plan for its listing next.
Baidu is about to start talks with banks and promoters and is shooting for a valuation of up to USD10 billion. The company wants to keep a controlling stake in iQiyi after the IPO, whose process is in its early stages and so its final valuation could change.
Their main competitors include Youku of Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. [NYSE:BABA] and v.qq.com under Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HK:0700], both of which have enough funds to compete in content. iQiyi accordingly needs to buy and create more content to sustain its lead among video websites.
iQiyi has gained traction in the last two years, with VIP members surpassing 20 million last year. iQiyi's revenue grew 113.1% to CNY11.3 billion last year over the CNY5.3 billion logged for 2015, per Baidu's 2016 annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in April.
iQiyi had 310 million daily active users at the end of May, Gong Yu, its chief executive, announced at iQIYI Technology & Entertainment World. iQiyi ranks second only behind Tencent's WeChat in terms of length of use in China, with 510 million monthly active devices and 6 billion hours of time spent on its app each month, per the latest data from third-party agency iResearch.