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Baidu planning IPO for video-streaming platform

Chinese online company Baidu has announced plans to launch an initial public offering for its Iqiyi video-streaming platform.

According to the Wall Street Journal newspaper, people familiar with the matter have said the IPO could value Iqiyi at up to $5bn (€4.8bn).

The sources said that Iqiyi may list in Hong Kong or the US next year and could raise approximately $1bn through the IPO, although this amount may fluctuate as the company discusses terms with potential investors.

In addition, the newspaper quoted the sources as saying that Iqiyi is planning to issue a convertible bond or similar instrument to raise fund from investors prior to the IPO.

The reports come after Iqiyi in October said that it was planning to invest up to $1.4bn to acquire and produce content in 2017.

Iqiyi already has various sports-rights and in September struck a deal with the China Arena Football League, the country’s first professional American football league, for its debut season. Iqiyi exclusively streamed live coverage of all games during the campaign, which ran from October 1 to November 6.

Iqiyi also holds rights agreements with the Women’s Tennis Association running from 2017 to 2026, and with golf’s US PGA Tour from 2016 to 2020.