Stephen Bell

Startup, dropout: The China tech IPO boom is only beginning

June 2, 2011: 12:51 PM ET

By Bill Powell, senior writer

Investors are pitching the Zuckerberg-Gates-Google model of college-kid startups at China's prestigious universities. And the kids are into it.

FORTUNE -- IPOs from Chinese tech companies -- in e-commerce,  social media, mobile applications for tablets and smart phones -- in just about anything in the so-called TMT (technology,media, telecom) universe have been coming with such relentless frequency that they're hard to keep track of, especially from afar. So American investors and media are using US-centric formula to keep them sorted: X is the Y of China.

Some recent examples: Ren Ren (RENN), which went public last month, raising  $743.4 million in May 4 IPO, is the "Facebook of China."  And Jiayuan International  (DATE), a dating site, is the "eHarmony of China." Listing just days after Ren Ren, it raised about $80 million, and though the stock today trades above where it opened, the fact that it failed to raise $100 million with its IPO was enough for Reuters to suggest there is now such a thing as Chinese IPO fatigue.

Maybe that's the feeling in the U.S. media. But a recent gathering of China's technology entrepreneurs and the venture capitalists who fund them here in Beijing -- at the 7th annual Chinict "Tech stars of China" conference -- suggests that we probably haven't seen anything yet. More

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