People’s Daily Online IPO Hits Shanghai, Selling Like Hot Dumplings

People’s Daily Online, the news website that’s the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece on the web, has listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange this morning under the ‘SHA:603000’ ticker. The stock opened much higher than the anticipated 20 to 22.5 RMB per share range, starting today at 31.01 RMB and then climbing rapidly. Just before lunch, it’s already trading at 35.28 RMB.

The flotation looks to have raised 2.41 billion RMB (US$383 million) from 69.1 million shares for the company at its much higher opening price. The lead underwriter is CITIC Securities (HKG:6030; SHA:600030).

People’s Daily Online - not to be confused with state news agency Xinhua - has portals in 15 languages in addition to its Chinese news. The company had previously declared that it would use the finances to upgrade and bolster its wireless services, tech platform, and editorial team.

The state-controlled website, at people.com.cn, generates most of its revenue from advertising, wireless services, and content syndication. But it’s under pressure to innovate and push more into mobile, with many smartphone-toting Chinese preferring to get their (very tightly-controlled) news from less dowdy sources that have cooler apps and websites, such as the portals from Sina, Tencent, Sohu, or Netease.

You can follow the People’s Daily Online stock on QQ Finance.

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