The IPO will value the company at $8 billion-$10 billion, both Reuters and Bloomberg reported, citing unidentified sources. A report in the South China Morning Post said Baidu and iQiyi declined comment. Deadline’s calls to iQiyi requesting comment were not returned Tuesday after business hours in China.
Over the summer, iQiyi made news when one of the Netflix series it had planned to carry, BoJack Horseman, abruptly was removed from the service due to censors’ concerns about its content. That move followed previous content snafus, long a factor for any entertainment company operating in China.
In a version of the U.S. battle among streamers Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, the three Chinese rivals — Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu — have all invested in video content. Baidu’s iQiyi has racked up 481 million monthly active users, though its projected market capitalization after the IPO would be a fraction of Netflix’s.
In February, iQiyi raised $1.5 billion from the sale of convertible notes to investors, which included Baidu. Analysts have warned that a push into streaming video will be cash-intensive, given the need not only to fund original and acquired content but also meet consumers’ ever-rising standards for the quality of their video experience.