TripAdvisor is buying Kuxun.cn, a Chinese flight and hotel search engine, as it taps into a burgeoning tourism market buoyed by China's resilient economy.
TripAdvisor, owned by Expedia Inc., plans to invest more than US$50 million in China through late 2011, Chief Executive Stephen Kaufer told Dow Jones Newswires. The budget includes buying Kuxun, launching its own Chinese travel-review Web site, Daodao.com, in April, and hiring more staff.
"China's economy is going to continue to grow," he said. "Tourism will naturally follow--more domestic travelers visiting domestic locations for fun."
Kaufer declined to say how much TripAdvisor paid to buy Kuxun, its first acquisition in China, home to the biggest number of Internet users around the world.
TripAdvisor will probably double the number of staff in China working on both Web sites to 160 over the next year from 80 now, Kaufer said, adding the company hasn't reviewed its plans. Over the next two years, it aims to double the combined number of visitors to Kuxun and Daodao.
According to the company, Daodao had 4 million unique visitors in September.
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