Expedia Inc. is exerting greater control over Chinese online travel agency eLong Inc. amid signs that eLong is slipping behind its main rival, Ctrip, in the race to tap China's growing online travel market.

Expedia already owns 52 percent of eLong, which allows travelers to book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars and vacation packages online.

This month, Expedia installed one of its own executives in top positions at the Chinese agency. Henrik Kjellberg, the head of Expedia's Asia Pacific division, was named interim chief executive of eLong, following the resignation of Tom SooHoo, who held the CEO post for just over a year.

During the fourth quarter of 2006, Ctrip generated $61 million in revenue from hotel bookings and $11 million from air ticket bookings. ELong, by comparison, generated $7.2 million from hotels and $1.2 million from air travel during the same period.

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