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Online Chinese travel search platform Qunar makes debut on Nasdaq
2013-11-04 15:28:54

NEW YORK, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- A prominent search-based online commercial platform for the Chinese travel industry,...

NEW YORK, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- A prominent search-based online commercial platform for the Chinese travel industry, Qunar Cayman Islands Limited, debuted Friday at the Nasdaq Global Market with the pricing of 15 U.S. dollars a share for its initial public offering (IPO).

Shares of the Beijing-based company, under the ticker symbol of QUNR at the Nasdaq, skyrocketed 107.93 percent to trade at 31.19 dollars apiece shortly after the shares began trading in the day.

Qunar, which has registered in Cayman Islands, plans to raise about 167 million U.S. dollars by offering about 11.11 million American depositary shares (ADSs). Capitals raised from Friday's IPO will be used to scale up the company's investment in technology, infrastructure, and research and development, as well as to strengthen its marketing input, in order to meet the company 's future demands for mergers and acquisitions, the company said at a press briefing held here Friday.

"China's tourism market is vast, but online tourism's market penetration is still relatively low. Qunar's search model has created huge network effects," Zhuang Chenchao, founder and chief executive officer of Qunar, said during the briefing. "The company has a massive and diversified client base. Our experienced management team will help the company achieve success in future competitions."

Talking about Qunar's prospect of development, Zhuang said, " Qunar will focus more on long-term profitability in the future, while in the near term we will focus on grabbing more market share under balanced cash flow."

"After the IPO, we will grow our business in a more flexible manner, not excluding the possibility of utilizing the capital market to do strategic mergers and acquisitions or form strategic alliances in a selective way," he said.

Qunar, founded in May 2005, has been ranked the top in online private travel companies in China in terms of monthly unique visitors since November 2010, according to research firm iResearch. It processed some 1.8 billion web and mobile search queries for air tickets and hotels last year, and about 1.4 billion queries in the first six months of 2013, the company said in its IPO filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company, which has Baidu, a search engine giant in Chinese language, as its biggest shareholder, reported 58.46 million dollars in revenue from January to June, up 75 percent year on year, and 88 percent of the revenue was generated from the pay-per- click model, said the corporate source of Qunar.

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