IAC: Expanding In China, Bringing Ask

Barry Diller will be expanding IAC’s presence in China, he told reporters in Beijing — we think. The report out of the WSJ is little fuzzy on the details, which may be a translation issue, or it may be because details are a bit fuzzy. Our understanding:

• IAC (IACI) which has invested $200 million in China so far, will spend another $100 million to build a new web site. It will be a “media and advertising Web site rather than a transaction-based business.”

• Barry doesn’t know, hasn’t decided, or isn’t saying what the new Web site will be. But maybe it will have to do with online gambling.

• Either separately or connected to the new mystery Web site, Barry wants to bring Ask.com to China within the next two years.

Barry also tells reporters that IAC had “screwed up” eLong, the Chinese travel site it owns, but things are going to get better. The company has 12% of the market, while leader Ctrip.com has 49%.

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