Chinese Internet search giant Baidu Inc and China CITIC Bank Corp will set up an Internet banking joint venture, the 21st Century Business Herald reported on Tuesday, following in the footsteps of other domestic tech firms.
The report, which cited unidentified sources, did not give any further details on the planned venture. Some other Chinese media also reported on the plans.
On Monday, CITIC halted trading of its Shanghai-listed shares pending the release of an announcement in relation to a proposed external investment.
Baidu rivals Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd have both set up online-banking joint ventures. But these have run into regulatory roadblocks, due to a lack of physical locations required by regulators for certain services.
Even after the Baidu-CITIC joint venture is established, the new firm would still need to apply for a banking licence.
Spokespeople for Baidu and CITIC declined to comment.
(Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)