Chinese company to have biggest Web IPO ever?

Jingdong, which operates the Chinese equivalent of Amazon.com, is reportedly eying an IPO that would be bigger than Google's $1.9 billion public offering in 2004.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
360Buy is getting ready for a major IPO, reports claim.
360Buy is getting ready for a major IPO, reports claim. 360Buy

A China-based e-commerce company is eying the biggest-ever initial public offering for a Web company, the Wall Street Journal is reporting, citing anonymous sources.

According to the Journal, Beijing Jingdong Century Trading Co. (Jingdong), which operates Chinese e-commerce site 360buy, is planning to raise between $4 billion and $5 billion in an IPO it hopes to hold in the first six months of 2012. If the company follows through on the IPO, it would dwarf Google's record-setting 2004 IPO of $1.9 billion.

Jingdong's 360buy is the Amazon.com of China. The company sells a host of products, ranging from electronics to shoes. And according to a company spokesperson speaking to the Journal, it has performed quite well financially. In 2010, according to the spokesperson, Jingdong's revenue soared to $1.6 billion, nearly tripling its $626 million in revenue in 2009.

If Jingdong does, in fact, go public, it would join a growing number of Chinese companies with stocks that have performed quite well on the open market. Chinese search engine Baidu has proven to be one of the more popular Chinese stocks. That company's shares are trading at $147.71 as of this writing, and are up a healthy 72 percent in the past year alone.

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But even with some companies enjoying success on the market, others are getting hit hard by investors' uncertainty. The market has become so volatile that some major online companies that had planned on going public in the near future have reportedly delayed their offerings. Daily-deals provider Groupon, for example, was expected to go public this month, but has reportedly delayed its IPO until October or November. Social-gaming company Zynga has also reportedly delayed its IPO.

Even Facebook has apparently decided against going public this year. According to reports, Facebook is now planning to hold an IPO late next year, so its employees can focus on product development, rather than the cash they will take home when the social network's stock is offered on the open market.