Renren.com, the biggest social networking website in China with over 160 million users, is getting ready to make an initial public offering in the United States according to three sources with knowledge of the plan who said the offering may happen as early a June.
Facebook is currently blocked in China, the world’s biggest untapped market for the internet, but Renren.com has many Facebook like features. Renren, which means “everyone” in Chinese, would use funds from an IPO to compete with local competitors Baidu and Tencent Holdings, Ltd. Morgan Stanley, Deutche Bank AG, and Credit Suisse AG are managing Renren’s IPO.
The popularity and advertizing revenues of social networking websites has been soaring in the United States, but so far none have gone public, so investor interest is very high. Professional networking website LinkedIn said last month it will raise $175 million in an IPO and may be the first of the social networking websites in the U.S. to go public.