Shares of Baidu, Inc. (BIDU) surged to all-time highs in premarket trading on Monday after the company reportedly signed a deal with Facebook Inc. to set up a jointly social-networking website in China. Bloomberg reported the agreement, citing a report on the Chinese website Sohu.com (SOHU).
The story notes that the arrangement follows several recent meetings in China between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Baidu CEO Robin Li. The China website would not be integrated with Facebook’s international service, and a start date is “not confirmed.”
Baidu declined to comment on the report. Facebook said it is “currently studying and learning about China, as part of evaluating any possible approaches that could benefit our users, developers and advertisers.”
Entering the country, where owner of the world’s most popular social-networking service is currently banned, Facebook would gain access to China’s nearly 500 million Internet users.
As mentioned, BIDU lifted to all-time highs this morning ($148.92), leading all Chinese Internet space names higher ; Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd. A (QIHU), Sina Corp. (SINA), NetEase.com, Inc. (NTES), Youku.com Inc (YOKU), E-Commerce China Dangdang Inc. (DANG).
Baidu, Inc., based in Beijing, China, gained $4.03, or 2.84 percent, to $145.91 at 10:42 a.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. Earlier, it rose as high as $148.92.