China’s Weibo Social-Media service has transformed discourse in the world’s second-largest economy, giving a generation of young Chinese a way to reach millions outside traditional government-controlled media channels. Now Weibo’s owner hopes to take it public in the U.S., aiming to raise roughly $500 million in the second-quarter. Along with the U.S. listing, Weibo could get a further boost from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the Chinese most successful e-commerce company. Details of the Weibo IPO weren’t clear, but the value of Alibaba’s purchase suggests it would represent a minority stake in the business. However, due to Chinese government’s censor over Weibo, it is researched that the total number of microblog users in China fell 9% to 280.8 million last year from 308.6 million in 2012. The decrease of Weibo users may sharply affect its market value.

(Financial TimesABC News, February 25th; South China Morning Post, February 26th)