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Skyscanner buys Chinese travel search engine

The deal will provide the best of both worlds, according to SkyScanner chief Gareth Williams. Picture: Ian Rutherford

The deal will provide the best of both worlds, according to SkyScanner chief Gareth Williams. Picture: Ian Rutherford

  • by EMMA NEWLANDS
 

TRAVEL comparison site Sky-scanner yesterday confirmed that it is buying Chinese travel search start-up Youbibi. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Edinburgh-based firm said the deal will let Chinese travellers search for all their travel needs in one place.

Combining Youbibi’s mainland China knowledge with Skyscanner’s international flight coverage, the deal will provide “the best of both worlds”, according to Gareth Williams, Skyscanner’s co-founder and chief executive.

He said: “Since we established our China team in 2012, the number of visitors to our site and apps across the country has grown tenfold, yet we’re still only at the start of the growth opportunity we see here.

“The acquisition takes us from being a strong international travel specialist in China to a truly global travel service provider for Chinese nationals, domestically and internationally.”

Skyscanner now has more than 500 staff across six global offices and Williams said there are “exciting plans” afoot to develop products to let travellers in China and beyond enjoy more straightforward travel planning.

The company said in April that the future of planning and booking a holiday will involve a virtual reality visit to potential destinations.

Steven Pang, co-founder and chief executive of Youbibi, said the acquisition will create a “really exciting travel search tool for all Chinese travellers”.

 

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