The Internet portal of China's State-owned Xinhua News Agency has applied for an initial public offering (IPO) on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, signaling the country's commitment to boosting its culture industry and reinforcing speculations that a host of news portals will seek listings in upcoming years, analysts said Monday.
The IPO application of xinhuanet.com is being reviewed by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), according to a list of IPO applications published by the regulator on its website Saturday.
If approved, the IPO would become the second listing for a State-backed media website, following April's listing of people.com.cn, an online portal of People's Daily.
"Given the tremendous success of people.com.cn's IPO and the government's ongoing support of the culture industry, a host of the websites of the country's large media organizations, including that of CCTV, are expected to seek IPOs in the coming two years," Chen Shaofeng, deputy dean of the Institute for Cultural Industries at Peking University, told the Global Times Monday.
"Going public is a double-edged sword for these State-backed media. Once they get listed, they have to compete for advertising revenues to improve their profitability and financial structure. Without unique positioning and targeted contents, they won't attract as much interest as people.com.cn does," Chen said.
CSRC's Saturday list did not give details on when xinhuanet.com's IPO would happen or how much capital it intends to raise. A fax inquiry to xinhuanet.com was not returned by press time.
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