The partnership between Ctrip and Qunar was announced on Monday less than six months after Qunar rejected an unsolicited buyout offer from Ctrip, raised $800 million via a follow-on offering, and received a combined $500 million worth of new investment from US private equity firm Silver Lake and an unnamed investor. "We are excited by this transaction, which we believe will help build a healthy travel ecosystem in China,” said James Liang, chairman of Ctrip. "This milestone transaction will enable us to focus on providing the best travel products and services to our travellers." The tie-up promises to help the two companies benefit from China's fast-growing middle class. Increasing numbers of individuals and families are looking to embark on internal and international holidays as their wealth levels rise. Get the full story at FinanceAsia