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Net 263 plans IPO sale
( 2003-08-05 15:24) (Eastday.com)

Net 263 Group, a leading Internet ac-cess, content, and digital center service provider in China, has submitted an application to the country's securities watchdog to launch an initial public offering in the A-share market.

The company will become the first Internet-based company in China's stock market if it can complete its one-year probation period.

In 2002, the company generated sales of 300 million yuan (US$36.1 million), with net profit coming at 60 million yuan. A total of 600,000 members have subscribed to its paid e-mail box service. Net 263 says it wants to attract 10 million paid users in two years.

"The transfer from a private company to a share holding one will improve our capital flow and allow us to use more money in exploring new business scopes," said Huang Mingsheng, the chief executive officer at Net 263.

But analysts are skeptical about whether the company will be able to sell shares next year as it planned.

"There are already roughly 1,000 companies on the waiting list and it is too early to say the plan (to sell shares) will be successful," said Sun Weijia, the telecom marketing analyst at Analysys Consulting Co Ltd.

Sun also noted Net 263 had to transfer its core business from dial up Internet service, which made up 60 percent of the group's total revenue, to broadband.

"With the rapid growth of multimedia technology, the data volume on the Internet is exploding. As a result, the market demand for dial up service, which is comparatively slow, is withering," Sun said.

"The firm's core business will probably be switched to paid e-mail box service for both individual and company users," said Sun.

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