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Chinese Social Network Momo Soars in Nasdaq Debut

Momo stock jumped more than 26 percent in its first day of trading.

NASDAQ

Three months after Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba pulled off the largest tech IPO of all time, another Chinese tech venture — and Alibaba portfolio company — scored big in its stock market debut.

Momo, a Chinese social network and dating platform, finished its first day of public trading at over $17 a share — up more than 26 percent from its IPO price. It’s current market cap: $3.2 billion. Not bad for a company that’s not yet profitable and has recently been troubled by allegations of misconduct and corruption against its CEO.

Momo’s first-day trading was a good start for a social media company that few outside China have probably ever heard of. Of Momo’s 60 million monthly active users, 97 percent are from China, CFO Jonathan Xiaosong Zhang told Re/code. The other three percent are largely Chinese speakers living abroad, he added.

So why go public in the United States?

Zhang said the company chose Nasdaq for some of the same reasons that Alibaba did — to enhance its brand overseas, and to improve its business relationships outside China.

Momo is also looking to grow its audience in the United States. Zhang said the company plans to release a product targeted at the U.S. market in the first quarter of 2015, though he declined to provide any details on it. A previously released English version of Momo was killed off earlier this year after failing to gain traction.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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