Maimai, LinkedIn’s biggest China rival, just raised $75 million in its latest Series C round and has plans to go IPO in 2019, our sister site is reporting (in Chinese). The round is led by DCM Ventures, an investor in popular social networking apps including Kuaishou, Tantan, Musical.ly, and Renren. IDG Capital and Morningside Venture Capital also participated in the round, and Chinese recruiting giant Zhilian Recruitment joined as a strategic investor.

Maimai launched in the fall of 2013, several months before the Mountain View, California-based professional networking giant entered China as a joint venture—LinkedIn China—that Sequoia and China Broadband Capital (CBC) helped set up. Since then the duo has been competing neck to neck to grab China’s professional users.

Over time, Maimai has edged in closer to its American rival. Data from research firm iResearch shows that Maimai has nearly 30 million registered users as of April, while LinkedIn China claims it reached 32 million users around that same time. However, iResearch has put the Chinese startup ahead of the American giant in a ranking (in Chinese) for Chinese networking apps based on the researcher’s “App Index”. In June, Maimai made it to the top three free enterprise apps in the China App Store, along with Alibaba’s Ding Ding and WeChat Enterprise.

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Rita Liao

Telling the uncommon China stories through tech. I can be reached at ritacyliao [at] gmail [dot] com.