The share prices of China's top three Internet portals have risen to over 20 times the price they were a year ago. Sina.com, NetEase.com and Sohu.com are now planning to exploit the bullish market mood, and issue convertible bonds to raise over US$280 million of fresh finance between them.

Analysts have speculated that the companies could also embark on a series of acquisitions to fuel further growth. The boom is partly due to hopes that new SMS services will take off, and partly due to increased Web traffic and advertising revenue arising because people stayed at home during the SARS crisis, analysts have suggested.

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