Baidu scraps $3.6 billion deal for JOYY’s China live-streaming unit

By Summer Zhen

HONG KONG (Reuters) -Baidu has terminated its planned $3.6 billion acquisition of Nasdaq-listed JOYY Inc’s live-streaming business in China, the company said on Monday in a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The failure of the deal casts a shadow on search engine giant Baidu’s ambition to diversify its revenue. The company proposed to acquire JOYY’s Chinese live-streaming business known as YY Live in 2020.

Baidu affiliate Moon SPV Ltd terminated the share purchase agreement with JOYY because the conditions of closing the deal it provided for “had not been fully satisfied” as of the end of 2023, Baidu said in an exchange filing on Monday.

The conditions included obtaining necessary regulatory approvals from governmental authorities, the company said.

Reuters in 2021 reported China’s antitrust regulator was unlikely to approve the deal as Beijing sought to increase control of companies collecting large amounts of consumer data and break down monopolistic practices.

JOYY is a leading Chinese social live-streaming platform and has expanded globally, with global monthly active users reaching 277 million.

In a separate statement release late on Monday, JOYY said it is seeking legal advice and will consider all options regarding the deal cancellation.

(Reporting by Summer Zhen; Additional reporting by Roxanne Liu; Editing by Jan Harvey and Christian Schmollinger)