The social networking frenzy has Syracuse investors interested. Now a China firm, Renren.com, http://renren.com, is hitting the American market with an IPO which could give Syracuse investors an opportunity to cash in on the huge networking market in China.
Serena Saitto and Brian Womack have reported for Bloomberg “China Networking Site Renren Said to Plan $500 Million U.S. IPO”, http://bloom.bg/fo2BaN. Renren.com, which is China’s largest social-networking service, is now seeking to capitalize on strengthening demand for the nation’s Internet stocks with a U.S. initial public offering. It has been said Renren.com is preparing an IPO of about $500 million this year. Reports have also said the banks handling the IPO are Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank AG and Credit Suisse Group AG. This offering could come by June.
Jim Tang, a telecommunications analyst at Shenyin Wanguo Securities Co. in Shanghai, has said “It’s good timing to go for a listing. It definitely will be able to lure many international investors. It should be using the IPO proceeds to develop and promote its technology and products.” According to Analysys International in Beijing Renren.com now has more than 160 million registered users.
The IPO proceeds could be used to lure more visitors as it competes with local rivals Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Baidu Inc. in the most populous nation in the world. Renren is a name that means “everyone”in Chinese and has similar features as Facebook Inc.. Facebook is blocked in China at this time. Advertising at Renren has more than doubled each year since the site started selling space in 2008. It is estimated the online advertising market will triple to almost $13 billion in China by 2014.
The roots of Renren goes back to 2005, when graduates of Tsinghua University in Beijing founded Xiaonei.com, or “InsideSchool.” This was a year after Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook, created Facebook for fellow Harvard University students. In 2006, Xiaonei was purchased by closely held Oak Pacific Interactive Corp., which than renamed the service to Renren in 2009. Softbank Corp., which is Japan’s fastest-growing mobile-phone carrier, is the biggest shareholder in Beijing-based Oak Pacific.
The opportunity for investors here in Syracuse to profit from the potentially huge social networking market in China with an IPO for Renren is welcomed here. Already Syracuse investors have been intrigued with potential IPOs for the popular social networking sites Facebook and LinkedIn.
Mandel News Service: http://www.mandelnews.com