The senior management of Ctrip announced in an internal e-mail on November 22 that the company's vacation arm had merged with Qunar’s holiday business unit (BU). Meanwhile, a Ctrip leader denied the rumor of buying Tuniu.
This marks another big move of Ctrip in consolidating the online holiday marketplace within just about one month after making a strategic investment in Chongqing-based offline agency chain Traveling Bestone and forming partnerships with three US-based tour operators.
Meanwhile, Qunar’s ground-handling BU has also merged with the corresponding unit of Ctip. This is bound to create a more competitive team and enhance Ctrip’s leading position in the online travel market.
When asked about the reports on Ctrip buying Tuniu, Jane Sun, new CEO and former COO of Ctrip, denied the rumor when being interviewed on November 14.
Sun believed with the consolidation of China’s online travel sector, OTA has become much more rational than before. “Many companies fueled their revenue growth by burning money, but price wars are not sustainable. The capital market has also become rational and less inclined to burn money.”
Haifeng Yan, COO of Tuniu, also denied being bought by Crtip. He said Tuniu was taking a leading role in terms of market share after ten years of hard-work in the online leisure travel sector. (Translated by Claire)