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Baidu seeks to raise $2bn for finance unit

Chinese search engine Baidu is looking to raise up to $2 billion to take on fellow tech behemoths Alibaba and Tencent in the financial services sector, according to Reuters.

Citing sources, Reuters says that Baidu is looking to raise between $1.5 billion and $2 billion for its wholly-owned Baidu Financial Services Group. About half is expected to come through Baidu selling down its holdings.

Baidu FSG, which currently operates a mobile wallet, an online credit service and wealth management platform, is valued at around $2.8 billion.

It is dwarfed by Alibaba’s Ant Financial, worth over $60 billion, and Tencent, which has attracted hundreds of millions of users to its WeChat mobile payments service.

In August last year, Baidu and China Citic Bank received regulatory approval to launch a direct banking joint venture offering loans and deposit accounts to Chinese consumers.

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