The move will give Skyscanner access to the Chinese market

Scotland’s Skyscanner has been sold to China’s travel giant Ctrip for £1.4 billion.

Skyscanner is a price comparison website for flights, hotels and car rentals. The British technology start-up dates back to 2001 in the wake of the dotcom bust. Started by Gareth Williams, Barry Smith and Bonamy Grimes, the site has grown to more than 60 million monthly users with annual revenues of over £120 million.

Ctrip said that Skyscanner will run independently with Mr Williams remaining at the head of the company. Having Chinese owners will give Skyscanner access into China, which a number of Western internet companies have failed to achieve.

“Ctrip is the clear market leader in China and a company we can learn a huge amount from,” Mr Williams said. “Today’s news takes Skyscanner one step closer to our goal of making travel search as simple as possible for travellers around the world.

The deal will be finalised by the end of the year.