Chinese search engine Baidu (BIDU) has reached an agreement with NetDragon Websoft (NDWTY) to buy one of China’s leading mobile app marketplaces.
The technology-based media company will fork out $1.9 billion in cash to buy 100% of 91 Wireless Websoft Limited, one of the leading smartphone platforms in China. The merger will give Baidu 57.4% stake owned by NetDragon as well the rest of the shares owned by other shareholders.
Even though Baidu will now own 91 Wireless, the current management team of the smartphone marketplace will continue to run it. The CEO of 91 Wireless said that he expects the merger to be of mutual benefit as both companies have a loyal fan base and they’ve both been thriving in recent years.
NetDragon is one of China’s leaders in mobile applications and gaming, developing successful titles within the last decade such as Eudemons Online and Conquer Online. The company developed 91 Wireless in 2007 and user have downloaded over 10 billion mobile apps so far.