SHANGHAI Feb 4 Chinese entrepreneur Zhu Jiang
didn't need a stock market to raise cash for his media startup.
Impatient to tap investors even though Beijing has frozen new
share sales, Zhu started flogging stock on shopping website
Before Taobao's owner Alibaba Group shut down his
virtual store on Monday, saying the platform wasn't allowed to
host share offerings, Zhu had pulled in a total of 1.2 million
yuan ($192,700) from more than 1,000 online punters.
"For start-ups, time is life," Zhu, founder of Beijing-based
video content producer Makev, said on his official microblog on
Sunday. "We cannot afford to wait in a long queue for funding
approvals, and there's little chance to get bank lending. So
this is the practical solution."
In October, China's securities regulator suspended initial
public offerings, an effort to help stabilise the country's
volatile stock market. The stoppage is likely to last until the
end of March.
Thousands of types of consumer goods, cars and real estate
are up for sale on Taobao, but it "does not allow the listing of
(shares) on the platform and ... has taken immediate action to
remove such listings from the website", an Alibaba spokeswoman
said in an e-mailed statement.
Lu Fang, a spokeswoman for Makev, said the cash raised from
online shoppers has already met the firm's fundraising target.
Before it was shut down, Makev's virtual Taobao store was
selling vouchers representing 100 Makev shares for 120 yuan
Taobao is China's largest e-commerce platform with nearly
500 million registered users and more than 800 million product
listings at any given time. It is unlisted on any share market.
($1 = 6.2270 Chinese yuan)
(Editing by Daniel Magnowski)