Chinese mobile browser firm mulls US IPO, expansion in 2013

CEO of Chinese mobile browser maker UCWeb says a U.S. listing is "better, branding-wise", to raise profile and reach of company, but did not disclose amount he aims to raise.

UCWeb, a Chinese mobile browser developer, is considering holding an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States next year, as part of plans to increase the reach of its browser as well as the company's profile.

Its CEO, Yongfu Yu, said in a Bloomberg report Friday it would be "better for us, branding-wise" to be listed in the U.S. since it would expand UCWeb's brand name and make the company more well-known.

The company, which Yu said is profitable, has plans to open a U.S. office in the fourth quarter this year with about 10 engineers. Previously, UCWeb made deals with U.S. tech companies, including note-taking application Evernote, which wanted to enter the Chinese market, he added.

The CEO said UCWeb has plans for investments and small acquisitions both in and outside China. Purchases made within mobile games in emerging markets will be an important area of growth and revenue, he said.

UCWeb's CFO Roy Rong said in the same report the company decided to consider an IPO in 2013, as this year "may not be a good time". The company currently does not need to raise funds, and sentiment surrounding Internet stocks has been poor, he explained.

According to Rong, UCWeb raised a total of US$80 million to US$100 million from investors and its last funding round closed early last year, although he did not say how much the company is valued at.

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