Tom Online Inc, expecting to ride high on the China technology bubble in its initial public offering this week and to surpass last week's IPO of Chinese rival Linktone, left many analysts bewildered after it was seen breaking issue multiple times during its first day of trading on Nasdaq.

Its American Depositary Receipts ended the day at US$15.58, barely half a percent from where it opened.

Like many similar Chinese Internet companies, initially started at the end of the 1990s as a full-service Web portal. The company, owned by Hong Kong's richest man Li Ka-shing, has recently morphed into a value-added mobile service provider, a market already full of both domestic Chinese companies and large state-owned enterprises.

Its current offerings include mobile games, downloadable ringtones, and mobile news distribution. All of these services are already offered by at least two dozen large national and regional Web portals in China.

Morgan Stanley and Citigroup headed the IPO this week for


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