youku

By George Chen
The opinions expressed are the author’s own.

“Will you marry me, Nasdaq?” that may be the message Jiayuan.com is keen to send to the Nasdaq and potential investors.

Jiayuan.com, an online dating service founded by a student of the Journalism School of Fudan University in 2003 and whose name means “a good destiny of love” in Chinese, today applied for an initial public offering in the United States. It’s the latest in a series of Chinese Internet technology and social networking companies to apply for a U.S. listing in recent months.

Now, I’m not a chartered financial analyst or Internet industry expert, so I just want to look at this wave of IPOs from a more personal perspective. First of all, I do believe there’s a reason behind the current rush of listing applications; it’s not mere coincidence!

The financial crisis changed the global landscape for many sectors, not only the financial industry but also many consumer-driven services. Wall Street investors have long been worried about the performance of traditional media companies such as the New York Times Co, while Google and Apple are already too expensive for some.

Youku.com and Renren.com, clones of YouTube and Facebook in China, naturally sound like a more comfortable investment solution to many Western investors who may have missed the previous gold rush for Google and Apple and are looking for something similar with a cheaper price tag.