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Expedia is investing more in China, a key market for the Bellevue online travel company’s international expansion efforts. The company today announced that it is paying $72.4 million to acquire Renren’s stake in eLong, one of the top Chinese online travel companies.

In May, Expedia invested $41 million in eLong, giving it a 56 percent share of the company. It has owned a chunk of eLong since 2004.

“We’re pleased to have an opportunity to increase our investment in eLong as we see China as a key market in our efforts to expand internationally,” said Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement. “We have been very happy with the strategic and operational progress made by eLong and look forward to many more years of success.”

Shares of Expedia are down three percent in trading today. They are up about six percent on the year.

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