Baidu IPO Price Raised
China’s biggest search engine, Beijing’s Baidu.com launched its initial public offering (IPO) selling at $27 per American depository share (ADS).
Baidu increased the number of shares it is selling from 3.7 million to 4.04 million. The share prices were raised to $27 from $25. Baidu trades on the Nasdaq under BIDU.
Baidu has been described as the Google of China, as it is the number one search engine in the country. Its competitors include Google (who owns 2.6% of Baidu’s shares), Yahoo, MSN, and China’s own Sohu.com, and Sina Corp.
“China isn’t like the U.S., where you have Google, Yahoo and MSN. … The bottom line is that at the moment, we are still at the earlier stage in China,” Reuters quotes Forun Technologies analyst Qiu Changhua as saying. “I’m thinking Baidu will be the market leader, but I’m not ruling out Sohu or Sina, MSN, Yahoo or Google — especially Google.” AFX News Limited reports:
Google and Yahoo have set their eyes on China’s search market, and China’s Internet portals have also entered the space, with some of them posting search-based revenues comparable to Baidu’s, according to an analyst.
The number of Internet search users in China will reach 187 mln in 2007 from the expected 115 mln this year, Baidu said in a regulatory filing, citing figures from IT and telecom market research company iResearch.
Officials from Google have reportedly visited Baidu in China and have been rumored to have talked about increasing Google’s stake in the company.
Last year in China, the search market was valued at about $150 million according to Beijing-based iResearch. The global search market is valued at around $8 billion.