The Chinese Communist party newspaper People’s Daily has raised 1.4 billion yuan ($219 - $222 million) after filing an Initial Public Offering (IPO) for its website www.people.com.cn. As The Financial Times reported on Friday, this figure is almost three times the paper’s initial target of 527m yuan. The FT writes that people.com.cn now has a market capitalisation of $876m – rivalling that of The New York Times, which is valued at $943m.
The FT suggests that the Chinese authorities are hoping that the IPO will help state media expand their global influence. The financial paper points out that although state Chinese media have been commercially successful, tehy is vastly overshadowed by private Chinese digital companies like Sina and Tecent. Now, however, the Chinese state media seem to be looking to compete more aggressively. The FT quotes People’s Daily, which states, “we need to increase our popularity, expand the range of products and services we offer, reach a wider audience and increase page hits per visitor.” With the apparent aim of expanding its editorial impact, Chinese state television is also constructing a broadcasting centre in Washington, notes The FT.