Microsoft bought 1.6 percent stake of Facebook for $240 millions, which valued Facebook at $15 billion. It has just been confirmed that Xiaonei.com, the Chinese clone of Facebook owned by Oak Pacific Interactive (OPI) sold its approximately 35% share to Softbank for $430 millions, which values OPI at over $1 billion.
So the Chinese social networks market is fueled. However, if we take a look at another side of this story, it is more interesting. Softbank has held roughly 30% stake of Chinese super star Alibaba.com, the deal with OPI is a further step into the fast growing Chinese Internet market; and Mixi, the No.1 Japanese SNS is planning to launch a subsidiary in Shanghai by the end of May. Japanese Internet is expanding, as Japantimes reported:
The global foray by Japanese Internet service companies makes sense as “they are expected to further grow their business among investors,” said Noritaka Kobayashi, a senior consultant at Nomura Research Institute. “If they continue to do business only at home, it’s obvious that their business cannot grow at a quick pace.”
It’s probably a mistake to see this as a Xiaonei deal – OPI also owns mop.com, which is a huge forum/BBS with far more users, so this was probably a more important factor.
Yes. The investment is to OPI, not particularly for xiaonei.com. But from what I read, e.g. http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/080430/20080430006158.html?.v=1 where it says: The investment will be used to augment the market leadership of Oak Pacific’s Xiaonei.com, China’s largest social-networking site.
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