Chinese bloggers frustrated over successful Twitter IPO

Chinese bloggers frustrated over successful Twitter IPO

Summary: Unable to access Twitter in their country, microbloggers in China are stunned a site that "never existed" in their eyes is able to achieve stellar result in the wake of its IPO on Thursday.


Bloggers in China have expressed their frustrations over Twitter's stellar IPO, suggesting that the U.S. microblogging site does not match up to similar services in their own market. 

Microbloggers in China frustrated over Twitter's IPO success mostly because they can't access the site in their country.

A report Friday by South China Morning Post (SCMP) quoted various comments made online following the IPO yesterday which had been closely watched by the Chinese media. Several said they were stunned by the stellar performance of a website that  "never existed" in the Chinese market where Twitter is banned. Although earlier reports suggested the ban on online services such as Twitter and Facebook would be lifted only in the Shanghai Freetrade Zone, later reports dismissed this move

After making its debut on the NYSE, the U.S. microblogging site saw its stock price climb 73 percent from its IPO pricetag of US$26 to US$44.9 at closing on Thursday. 

It triggered a range of comments from Chinese microbloggers, with one stating: "A website that we can't even open is now worth US$24 billion? It's a crazy world we are living in." 

Another noted the gap between the Asian economic powerhouse and other nations. "This is the moment when you realize that China is so apart from the rest of the world," wrote a New York-based blogger with 500,000 followers. 

Others responded by saying Sina Weibo, the most popular microblogging service in China, was easier to use than Twitter. To which the New York-based blogger replied: "Those who say they don't even like using Twitter are missing the point. How can you be glad when you are deprived of the right in the first place?"

Another microblogger joked: "There are really only two countries in the world--'China' and 'foreign countries'."

Sina Weibo and its competitor Tencent Weibo have over 500 million registered users, according to the SCMP report, which noted Sina's share value--listed on Nasdaq--fell more than 3 percent on the day of Twitter's IPO.

In his post on the IPO, tech lawyer and ZDNet blogger Andrew Stott opined that the company's high valuation--based on its US$26 IPO pricetag--seemed high compared to other Internet companies, especially in China. He noted that companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, and Sina Weibo, appeared under-priced because they offered richer user experience and more features than Twitter. 

Topics: Tech Industry, China, Social Enterprise


Eileen Yu began covering the IT industry when Asynchronous Transfer Mode was still hip and e-commerce was the new buzzword. Currently a freelance blogger and content specialist based in Singapore, she has over 16 years of industry experience with various publications including ZDNet, IDG, and Singapore Press Holdings.

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  • Yes Dorothy, there is a world outside of Kansas

    The walled garden is just a limited view of the universe.
  • old saying

    Just because you believe in something, does not make it true.
    • Or, from the other side

      Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

      --Philip K. Dick
      Third of Five
  • Communism with a free market face?

    One factor tending to make totalitarian governments fall is the combination of poverty and the knowledge of prosperity elsewhere. Cuba's government has not fallen because Cubans who once had a middle class life have mostly left, and now have grandchildren who are all American, while the majority of Cubans still on the island have more, even under Communism, than they had (or their parents and grandparents had) under Batista. North Korea has not fallen because their people are EXTREMELY poor and dependent on a government that frightens all of them into silence. But China, which might very well have gone down if its economy had not been growing so well, now has a population that is MOSTLY happy under Communism because they are prospering. Since most people look for survival first, THEN abstractions such as freedom, only the academic intelligentsia care who rules them, as long as they are becoming more prosperous ... FOR NOW. When the pie stops getting bigger, people will gradually realize who is getting most of it, and when they become miserable ENOUGH, they will rebel, be cut down, achieve martyrdom, and eventually inspire so much rebellion that the government will fall. Who takes over after that fall is the big question.

    This is beginning to happen in the US also, with the PATRIOT Act, NSA spying, corporations acting like mini-governments, etc. Those working on the US takeover are careful not to stop people from going to church (in fact they are working THROUGH the churches), or even from discussing the situation. Allowing free speech but then manipulating electoral processes so that the speech has no practical effect is much more efficient than trying to stomp it out with jackbooted thugs; in fact, the MAJORITY in many areas are stomping out minority viewpoints with a mixture of ridicule and social pressure, so it does not SEEM as if we are under thought control. So, while China may have evolved Communism with a free market face, are WE evolving fascism with a mask of "freedom" as H. L. Mencken once predicted (When fascism comes to America, it will wrap itself in the FLAG and carry a BIBLE)?
    • Communism with a free market face:

      I think you have provided one of the most compelling and cogent comments on a news story that I have read in recent years. I would go so far as to suggest that readers who may have simply skimmed this page may have had their take-away with just the first sentence. Distribution of wealth (not money) is the underlying issue and it is worsening, not improving. As for "masks" I think they have largely fallen away for anyone who cares to read, consider, and connect the dots. I would adminsh other readers to NOLTE BENE