'China's Twitter' files for IPO in US

2014-03-15 11:58
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - Weibo, the Chinese microblogging service often compared with Twitter, filed on Friday for a US stock offering seeking to raise $500m.

The move will allow the popular Chinese-language social network to spin off from the Internet giant Sina, according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The filing said Weibo had 129.1 million monthly active users in December and 61.4 million average daily active users.

The company did not indicate whether Weibo would file its IPO on the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange.

The lead underwriters will be Goldman Sachs Asia and Credit Suisse.

'A cultural phenomenon'

"A microcosm of Chinese society, Weibo has attracted a wide range of users, including ordinary people, celebrities and other public figures, as well as organisations such as media outlets, businesses, government agencies and charities," the SEC filing said.

"Weibo has become a cultural phenomenon in China.

"Weibo allows people to be heard publicly and exposed to the rich ideas, cultures and experiences of the broader world," it added.

"Media outlets use Weibo as a source of news and a distribution channel for their headline news. Government agencies and officials use Weibo as an official communication channel for disseminating timely information and gauging public opinion to improve public services."

The filing said Weibo's initial public offering (IPO) will be part of a "carve-out from Sina", but that Sina would "continue to provide us with certain support services" after it becomes independent.

"We will use approximately $250m of the net proceeds we receive from this offering to repay loans we owe to Sina," the document read.

"We intend to use the remainder to invest in technology, infrastructure and product development, to expand sales and marketing efforts, and for working capital and other general corporate purposes."

'China's Twitter'

Weibo was launched in August 2009 with a business model reminiscent of that of Twitter.

Weibo reported revenues for 2013 of $188m, triple the level of 2012, but has continually lost money, like its US counterpart, with accumulated losses of $274.9m as of December 31.

But Weibo said it would work to increase the number of users and monetization as it strives for profitability.

For a comparison, Twitter's high-flying Wall Street debut in November drew attention to the growing power of social media, but it also raised concerns about a potential bubble in the sector.

The US microblogging service's shares soared after debuting at $26 in the initial public offering, but dropped the following day to slightly more than $40.

At the close of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Twitter shares stood at $51.92.

Enter Alibaba

Separately, US media reported that a huge stock offering planned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is being prepared for New York.

The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, citing unnamed sources, said Alibaba chose New York after ruling out Hong Kong and London for the initial public offering.

The reports did not indicate whether the IPO would be on the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange.

Alibaba was not immediately available for comment.

The company's stock market listing was expected to raise about $10bn, which would make it the technology industry's largest IPO since Facebook's in 2012.

The Journal said that an IPO filing could come as soon as April, which could allow trading to begin by the third quarter.

The report said up to five banks may be given lead underwriting roles.

Alibaba operates China's most popular e-shopping platform, Taobao, which has more than 90% of the online market for consumer-to-consumer transactions.

Taobao has more than 800 million product listings and over 500 million users.
Read more on:    weibo  |  twitter  |  china  |  social network
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Printable solar panels will bring exciting new opportunities!

Printed sheets of flexible solar cells can mean your electronic devices can soon be charged with the use of renewable energy.

 
 

For chic geeks...

Now there’s a special lane for texting while walking
LOL! 7 brutally honest texts from parents
This lock means keys are something of the past!
7 things you didn't know about Apple

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Accommodation Assistant

Cape Town CBD
The Resources Shop Pty Ltd
R8 000 - R12 000 Per Month

Database Administrator / System Support

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
DAV Professional Placement Group
R300 000 - R400 000 Per Year

Sales Consultant

Cape Town
Mobile Recruitment
R4 000 - R5 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

30% off new fiction books!

Save 30% on new captivating books from great authors such as Wilbur Smith, James Pettereson and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

Camping gear!

We’ve got all your camping must have’s right here at mind blowing low prices. Check them out now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

As the Moon moves out of restless Gemini into sensitive Cancer today you are able to relax your active mind and be more receptive...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.