China-based Inc plans on acquisitions to improve services

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Jan 14, 2014 11:56 PM EST

China-based classifieds website operator Inc is looking for opportunities to acquire in China to improve its local information services, Bloomberg reported. Last year, made the biggest debut in the US among its Chinese rivals.

The website operates similarly to Craigslist, allowing users to sell all kinds of things. In a January 10 interview, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Yao Jinbo told Bloomberg that it is seeking Chinese Internet firms that give information searches in smaller cities. He added that it has cash amounting to $300 million in its coffers.

The classifieds operator is rivaling Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Baidu Inc, considered as the biggest Internet firms in China, for sellers and shoppers who are making the shift towards mobile devices. Based in Beijing, was able to raise $187 million in its US IPO in October 2013, the report said.

Yao told Bloomberg, "It won't take long when the majority of our customers access our platform from mobile devices. Most of the money we raised, we want to invest it on mobile."

Yao added that mobile development is his firm's main priority for 2014. Of its 130 million active users each month, an estimated 40% access its mobile application. Yao predicts that mobile users will exceed personal computer users next year.

Yao also said that will focus on its key areas for its mobile development in order to enhance its competitiveness. This includes apartment rental, used car transactions and job postings.

The company was able to post third quarter revenue of $41.6 million, representing an increase of 78%. The increase was partly due to more paying merchant members as well as marketing sales for online jobs and postings related to property. In the third quarter, profit was pegged at $8.49 million, overturning a loss experienced the year before which amounted to $6.3 million, the report said.

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