Chinese bloggers frustrated over successful Twitter IPO

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.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

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. 

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