One of China's leading search engines, Baidu.com (BIDU), searched for gold and found it on its first day of trading on Nasdaq. The company's stock soared over 350% to end at $122.54.
The debut was priced at $27 per American Depositary Share (ADS), and the company's market capitalization soared to about $4 billion as its stock climbed, still far less than Google's market value of about $82 billion. Before the trading day began, Google owned 2.6% of Baidu.
Some analysts wonder if Baidu could not have made more money if its underwriters had priced shares higher. But even its $27 price was many multiples over its current revenue. And had its stock dropped with such a high pricetag, investors could have sued.
With many other Chinese-language search engines available to users, there is still concern that Baidu might not have the power to equal Google's strength both online and in the markets. In the last three years the Chinese government has shutdown Baidu's operations at least once and users often complain that Baidu's search depth is not as good as Google's. There are also other companies currently suing Baidu for copyright issues.