American Investors Getting In on Some Chinese Censorship

I guess a little hypocrisy never shied money away in the United States before so why should it start now, yeah?

Weibo—which means “microblog” in Chinese—is similar to Twitter, but with a bit more (I’m being kind here) censorship. The company filed for an IPO in the United States back in mid-March of this year, and their aim was to raise upwards of US$500 million from American investors who hope to get in on China’s social media bandwagon.

Chiense Microblog Weibo

Weibo’s user base rivals that of Twitter’s, and while the data for these companies is somewhat unclear, both seem to be in the vicinity of 200+ million active monthly users. More interestingly, both appear to have stagnated a bit in the new subscriber area.

The site was founded in 2009, and is quite the Chinese “netizens” soapbox much to the chagrin of the Chinese government. Discussions range from blasting pop stars to corrupt politicians and anything and everything in between.

With regulations that would make any current U.S. politician foam at the mouth, and any dead U.S. forefather throw up in his, it makes little sense that any U.S. investor with any moral backbone would want to invest, but then again, we aren’t talking about mom & pop investors anymore, are we? We’re talking about computer trading programs.

Weibo’s float reportedly only initially raised US$286 million, just over half of their target. But things popped up nicely by the end of the day as the price jumped from US$17 to just a little over US$20 a share; signalling to Chinese Internet-based companies that censorship won’t deter U.S.-based high frequency computer models from investing in them.