Beijing University Secures a Strategic Stake in SOHU.COM
Beijing, CHINA – Leading Chinese Internet portal SOHU.COM (Nasdaq:SOHU) announced that Hong Kong Beida Jade Bird Science and Technology Ltd, a subsidiary of the Beijing University Jade Bird Group, has become a strategic investor in SOHU.COM, holding an equity position of 8.63%. On April 23, 2001, the Jade Bird Group filed Schedule 13D with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with its acquisition of just over 3 million shares of SOHU common stock from Intel Corp. (Nasdaq:INTC).
By taking this strategic stake in SOHU, the Jade Bird Group gives a clear signal to the capital markets that domestic Chinese companies understand the potential of the Mainland’s Internet industry leader, and are willing to invest in dynamic enterprises with a proven track record in giving value to their customers. “We are delighted to add a strong local investor to our current portfolio of international strategic backers. Companies like the Jade Bird Group are close to the Chinese market and are therefore well-positioned to understand SOHU’s strong competitive position in China,” said Charles Zhang, CEO and president of SOHU.COM.
Beijing University Jade Bird Group is one of the flagship businesses set up and owned by China’s most prestigious academic institution, Beijing University. The company has two listed subsidiaries on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and one on the Hong Kong GEM board. These three public companies focus their research and management expertise on developing software, IC chip designs, media services and cable network operations.
SOHU.COM and the Jade Bird Group have complementary assets that could yield strategic benefits. “The Jade Bird Group is an information technology leader with interests in developing traditional media products and online education. SOHU.COM is the leading Internet brand with nearly 20 million registered users among China’s most progressive and educated social demographic,” Charles Zhang commented.
“We are looking for dynamic entrepreneurial companies that we can team up with to expand into profitable new business ventures and SOHU matches that profile,” said Xu Zhendong, CEO of Beijing University Jade Bird Group.
SOHU.COM recently surprised the market by announcing a strong 13% increase in revenue for the first quarter and a solid 21% reduction in its quarterly burn rate. “These positive financial signals make SOHU an excellent investment for the Jade Bird Group,” added Wang Chaoyong, Board Director of China Eagle (Dapeng) Securities, who advised the Beijing University group on the purchase of SOHU shares.
About SOHU.com: SOHU.com is one of mainland China’s most recognized and established Internet brands and indispensable to the daily life of millions of Chinese who use the portal for their e-mail, home page, chat, messaging, news, search, browsing and shopping. Apart from continuous product and services development, SOHU.com also concentrates its efforts on making the Internet ubiquitously available, whether in the office, at home or on the road. SOHU.com, established by Dr. Charles Zhang, one of China’s Internet pioneers, is in its fifth year of operation.