Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent on deal trail

The three fast growing tech giants are spending big on mergers and acquisitions as they search for an edge in China's e-commerce sector.

Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent could spend more than $80 billion for mergers and acquisitions this year, according to BNP’s estimate, as the trio - known collectively as BAT - continue consolidating unprofitable startups and buy innovative companies to get an edge in the mainland’s fiercely competitive e-commerce market.

Baidu, which listed on Nasdaq in 2005, has dominated China’s search market since 2010 when Google pulled out of China over censorship and cyber attacks.

Alibaba has outpaced its online rivals through its profitable retail sites Taobao and Tmall, while Tencent owns WeChat, or Weixin in Chinese, a messaging app that had more than 650...

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