|Phenny Lynn Palec |||Aug 20, 2016 01:56 PM EDT|
(Photo : Getty Images) Baidu has its eye on sports business.
Chinese tech giant Baidu has launched its first venture into the sports market. Baidu's sports arm is aimed at attracting external venture funding attention to support the company's expansion into the sports business.
Baidu is joining the ranks of Chinese tech giant like Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group Holding. Tencent has acquired exclusive distribution rights to premium sports events like the National Basketball Association. On the other hand, Alibaba has a sports unit called Ali Sports.
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The newly created Baidu Sports division will be headed by Baidu lottery unit head Li Huan. Li has allegedly held meetings with several potential investors to attract external venture funding.
According to China Tech News, the newly formed Baidu Sports division is most likely to spin off the company's Goal Football unit, a joint venture between Baidu and digital sports media outlet Perform. Baidu Sports was established in May. Since Baidu is considered a latecomer in the sports business, the company's traction in the competitive market is unknown.
Baidu's lottery unit was created back in 2010. The task of this unit is to support the sales of cultural and sports products, as well as various internet information services. The lottery unit was formally incorporated into Baidu in 2014.
Baidu has been busy setting up joint ventures over the past few months. Recently, the company also signed a $150 million deal with American car manufacturer Ford. The venture will fund the research and development of the Velodyne autonomous driving car.
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