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China tech

US probe of China's Netflix puts Baidu in quandary

Tencent waits in wings to take over cash-burning app iQiyi

BEIJING -- Major Chinese tech company Baidu stands at a crossroads over what to do with its video streaming unit iQiyi, a linchpin of its growth plans that is under investigation by U.S. financial authorities over accounting practices.

The probe comes as Baidu endeavors to convert iQiyi from a cash burner into a cash cow as it tries to keep pace with the two other conglomerates that make up China's "Big Three" tech companies. If investors sour on the streaming platform, Baidu could be compelled to give up principle ownership to domestic rival Tencent Holdings.

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