(Yicai Global) Aug.23 -- Baidu Inc. [NASDAQ:BIDU] is not in talks for the acquisition of Toutiao, Yicai Global learned, although some media rumors suggested China's search engine titan is seeking to bag the popular news aggregator.
Some media reports, quoting so-called insiders, claimed yesterday that Baidu is in secret talks with Toutiao, hoping that the personalized news aggregator's founder Zhang Yiming will join Baidu's management board after a possible acquisition.
"Negotiations between Toutiao and Baidu for any kind of acquisition is impossible," sources from Toutiao told Yicai Global in response to the media rumors.
Toutiao is a product launched by Beijing Byte Dance Technology Co. It provides personalized information and news for users through massive information collection, deep data mining and user behavior analysis, thus creating a new model of news content providing.
Yicai Global exclusively reported that Toutiao just completed a new round of financing early August and its latest valuation exceeded USD22 billion.
"If they're interested, I can let BAT participate in," said a senior manager at Toutiao jokingly.
BAT refers to China's three internet giants – Baidu, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [NYSE:BABA] and Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HK:0700].