58.com may be frequently dubbed China’s answer to Craigslist, the pioneering US classified site. But its founder isn’t keen on the comparison. He has a bigger ambition: to be like Alibaba.
Jinbo Yao, founder and chief executive of 58.com, tells beyondbrics that he was initially inspired by Craigslist to found the company in 2005: “But we are different in terms of our business model. We hope 58.com will become a company like Alibaba, to connect merchants and users in the area of daily life services.”
Two more Chinese companies are looking to try their luck on Wall Street.
500.com, China’s leading online sports lottery service provider, and Sungy Mobile, a mobile app developer have on Tuesday filed plans with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to raise up to $150m and $80m respectively via initial public offerings.
The door is not exactly being kicked wide open. But after two years of accounting scandals and critical reports from short-sellers, Chinese companies are slowly making their way back to Wall Street again – and it’s not just Alibaba eyeing up New York.
On Monday, Qunar, a popular travel website in China, filed paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $125m in an initial public offering.
The move comes just three days after 58.com, China’s answer to Craigslist, filed to list on the New York Stock Exchange with an offer to sell $150m of ordinary shares in the form of American Depository Shares (ADSs). A day earlier, Montage Technology Group, a Shanghai-based computer chip maker, raised $71m in its public debut.
Remember the tiff between US and Chinese regulators over accounting regulatory standards? You know, the one that resulted in the SEC charging the Chinese affiliates of the Big Four audit firms (plus BDO) with violating US securities law after the five firms allegedly refused to turn over audit work related to nine Chinese companies being investigated for potential accounting fraud?
Well, after a 10-month stand off, it looks like some progress is finally being made to avoid an accounting Armageddon that could have led to the wholesale delisting of Chinese companies on US stock exchanges.
The clash between the US Securities and Exchange Commission and China over accounting regulatory standards probably won’t come to a head for another ten months. But the prospect that the SEC’s high-profile attack on the Chinese affiliates of the Big Four and BDO could lead to a wholesale delisting of Chinese companies from the US stock market appeared enough to spook investors.
Turbulent times for Sina’s shareprice. The Nasdaq-listed Chinese internet company, which runs the Twitter-like Sina Weibo service, was slapped down more than 15 per cent on Friday, after putting out poor forecasts in its third quarter results.
But what’s this? Alibaba, owner of Chinese internet marketplace Taobao among other web properties, is eyeing up a 15-20 per cent stake in Sina Weibo, according to a Chinese media report. Sina was up on Monday in pre-market trading by as much as 10 per cent.