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China's Twitter-Like Weibo Site Debuts on Nasdaq

/ Source: CNBC.com
China's Weibo CEO Charles Chao walks in Times Square moments after Weibo began trading on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol WB.
China's Weibo CEO Charles Chao walks in Times Square moments after Weibo began trading on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol WB.Spencer Platt / Getty Images

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China's Twitter-like platform Weibo went public on the Nasdaq on Thursday under the symbol "WB" and opened just below the expected $17 price but started trading 2 percent higher soon afterward.

The stock was expected to open Thursday morning, but was delayed until closer to noon. The underwriters, which include Goldman Sachs, determined the listing time, sources familiar with the situation told CNBC's Seema Mody.

At the offer price, Weibo is valued at $3.46 billion. The company is controlled by the Web portal firm Sina and sold 16.8 million American depositary shares at $17 each, raising about $286 million, Reuters reported. This figure was less than the planned 20 million ADSs priced between $17 and $19 each.

China's Weibo CEO Charles Chao walks in Times Square moments after Weibo began trading on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol WB.
China's Weibo CEO Charles Chao walks in Times Square moments after Weibo began trading on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol WB.Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The company priced the shares at the lower end of the range because of the recent stock market turmoil, particularly in technology shares, a banker who worked on the IPO told Reuters.

Launched in 2009, Weibo lets its users share multimedia content from the outset, as opposed to Twitter's initial text-only capability. Commenting and reposting statuses on Weibo are similar to Facebook's share and comment functions.

Weibo, which means "micro blog" in Chinese, had 143.8 million monthly active users in March, Reuters said.

-- CNBC.com

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