Monday, April 11, 2011

Reported Deal Between Facebook and Baidu (BIDU) to Create Social Networking Site, Pressures Sina.com (SINA)

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Sina.com (SINA) is showing the first weakness in a while, on reports Facebook is entering China via a partnership with Baidu (BIDU).   That said, after the initial (over)reaction which shaved about 7 points off the name, the stock has bounced back well in the afternoon.



The hit to Sina seems wrong for a few reasons - first there are already a handful of very significant social networking sites in China, 2 of which are expected to go public in the US this year - and whose IPOs I expect to rocket.  (in fact, the first ... Kaixin001.com has already secured the investment bankers)  Second, Sina's platform is a peer of Twitter, not Facebook.  That said, Baidu is a powerhouse in the country (in search) so this means more competition for everyone in the 'social communication' space.  Baidu's stock is reacting favorably to the news, although off highs of the day.



Via Bloomberg:

  • Facebook Inc. has signed an agreement with Baidu Inc. to set up a social-networking website in China, Sohu.com reported, citing unidentified employees at the Chinese search-engine company. The agreement followed several meetings between Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and Baidu CEO Robin Li, Sohu.com reported on its website today. The China website won’t be integrated with Facebook’s international service, and the start date is not confirmed, according to the report.
  • Baidu, owner of China’s most-used search engine, plans to develop more social-networking services, Li said on Feb. 1. The commercial value of social products is “meaningful,” he said.
  • China bans pornography, gambling and content critical of the ruling Communist Party, and blocks websites including Facebook, Twitter Inc. and Google Inc.’s YouTube that don’t follow the nation’s self-censorship rules. Google pulled its search engine out of China last year after deciding it would stop censoring its content. 

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