Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU)’s IPO Dreams ForWeibo Downsized

by Tom Carlson | Monday, Apr 7, 2014 | 5653 views

Boston, MA, 04/07/2014 (usastockreports) – The premier social media company of China, Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) has been reported to have downsized its IPO for its popular microblogging site, Weibo. Baidu, which has recently won a case in US, filed against it for suppressing the democratic rights of citizens through its regulations on censorship of content, has filed for an IPO of about $437 million for Weibo, as opposed to the $500 it was being expected to. This seems to have come after the declining growth of users and the concerns relating to censorship which has reduced the valuation of the business from $7 billion to $3.9 billion.

Coursing the Trend

There has been a spate of IPOs in China with the biggest of names in the social media industry having opted to raise funds in this manner. Ali Baba is slated to go public very soon. With the pricing of $17-19 per share based on the enterprise value of $3.2-3.9 billion, the major sources of revenue for the company are from the display ads and the promotional ads. However, the customers have an aversion to a large number of ads on their screens, especially, with the limited space of the mobile phones.

Expected Changes

Post the IPO, there are going to be a few changes in the stakes of Weibo; with Sina Corp, the parent company of Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU), reducing its holdings from 78% to 57% and Alibaba, on the other hand, is increasing from 19% to 32%. Public and employees will own 9.8% and 1% respectively. With tough competition from WeChat in its home market, there are chances of, more than existing, slowdown in the customer base. The allegations of too strict censorship rules, the screening of messages and prosecution of those found to be vocal in their opposition are also contributing to their failure in gaining a global stronghold.

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