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China's online marketplace 58.com makes debut on NYSE

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NEW YORK, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- 58.com Inc., China's online marketplace serving local merchants and consumers in about 380 cities, began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday under the ticker symbol "WUBA."

The company announced that it has priced its initial public offering (IPO) of 11 million American Depositary Shares (ADSs), each representing two Class A ordinary shares of the company, at 17 U.S. dollars per ADS for a total offering size of 187 million dollars.

"There is a huge demand of life services information in China. The United States has the maturest capital market and its local information service is also the best in the world," Yao Jinbo, chairman and chief executive officer of 58.com, told Xinhua.

"We won't change our plan after the IPO. Now we focus on Wi-Fi market. We aims at Wi-Fi users next and hopefully the number of our customers using Wi-Fi will surpass that who use personal computers," Yao said, We'll provide them best service and experience. Secondly, we will try to bring in more profits. Those two are our major goals for the near future.".

Shares of 58.com skyrocketed 41.88 percent to close at 24.12 dollars a share after its first day of trading.

58.com operates the largest online marketplace serving local merchants and consumers in China, as measured by monthly unique visitors on both its website www.58.com and its mobile applications, according to an industry report conducted by the third-party research firm iResearch Consulting Group.

Its online network provides diverse content categories, including housing, jobs, used goods, automotive, pets, tickets, and yellow pages, among others.

58.com, founded in December 2005 and headquartered in Beijing, is basically China's for-profit version of Craig's List in the United States.

The company generates revenues primarily from memberships and online marketing services, according to the company's IPO filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The company's filing to the SEC showed it earned a net income of 8.5 million dollars for the third quarter of this year on total revenues of 41.6 million dollars.

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