Renren, the biggest social networking website in China, is set to go public this spring with a $500 million public listing on NASDAQ and a $2-$3 billion market capitalization. Investment bankers Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and Credit Suisse are implementing the IPO of the Chinese equivalent of Facebook, before the U.S. Facebook goes public, following the IPO of two other Chinese companies Youku (similar to YouTube) and Dangdang (similar to Amazon).
Renren is the primary brand of Oak Pacific Interactive, which has raised almost $500 million for Renren, a record for a Chinese startup, and CEO Joseph Chen also owns about 30% of the company he started in 2002. Accel, which finances Facebook, General Electric, and DCM also support Facebook. The three huge Chinese internet companies Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu, dominate e-commerce, instant messaging, and search, but Renren leads social networking in that county.
According to Alexa, Renren is not a popular as Baidu, the instant messaging service QQ, ranking as the 16thmost popular website in China, and Analysis International says Renren has about 160 million registered users.