Baidu to buy mobile apps company for $1.9 billion

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Associated Press

Posted on July 16, 2013 at 2:07 AM

BEIJING (AP) — Baidu Inc., which operates China's most popular search engine, says it will buy mobile apps distributor 91 Wireless for $1.9 billion.

Baidu said Tuesday it has signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire a 57 percent stake in 91 Wireless owned by NetDragon, a Chinese online games developer, and the rest of the company from other shareholders.

The deal reflects the growing popularity of mobile Internet access in China and the scramble by companies for a share of that market.

91 Wireless operates two smartphone app distribution systems. It says more than 10 billion apps have been downloaded through its systems.

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