Alibaba to cash in Chinese Online Travel Market

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has decided to cash in on the country’s growing online travel business with an independent platform.

The decision comes after the company completed the world’s biggest stock offering last month.

Alibaba will spin off its online travel business, previously run as Taobao Travel, to create an independent brand Alitrip which would be an integral part of the group. The company sees huge potential for travel services in China.

The country already has two major online travel agencies, Ctrip and Elong.

Alibaba operates China’s most popular online shopping platform, Taobao, which roughly holds more than 90 percent of the online market for consumer-to-consumer transactions.

The company headquartered in the eastern city of Hangzhou has grown beyond e-commerce and extended to sectors including entertainment and logistics in a frenzy of deals before the company’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange in September.

Alitrip currently has more than 10,000 merchants offering services ranging from hotel bookings to visa applications including Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airlines and hotel booking site Agoda.

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