China's Baidu in Talks to Invest in Zomato, BookMyShow, Other Indian Startups

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China's Baidu in Talks to Invest in Zomato, BookMyShow, Other Indian Startups
Baidu Inc is in talks to invest in Indian e-commerce start-ups including Zomato, BookMyShow and BigBasket, a spokesman for China's top online search provider said on Wednesday.

"The Indian market represents an enormous opportunity for us to connect more people with services, and we plan to put more resources there in the future," the spokesman told Reuters by email.

Baidu declined to comment on possible investment amounts or time frames.

India's technology start-up market is booming as more and more people shop online, in a country where about 20 percent of a population of 1.3 billion are connected to the Internet.

The e-commerce market could grow in terms of the value of goods sold to $220 billion (roughly Rs. 14,69,639 crores) by 2025 from $11 billion (roughly Rs. 73,481 crores) in 2015, Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimated.

That growth potential has attracted investment from global technology giants such as China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Japan's SoftBank Group Corp.

Zomato is India's leading restaurant search provider, while BookMyShow is the country's top online seller of movies and events tickets. BigBasket is an online grocer.

Zomato and BigBasket did not immediately reply to emails seeking comment. BookMyShow could not be immediately reached for comment.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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