The microblogging service Weibo -- often described as China'sversion of Twitter -- will raise at least $340 million in its US stock offering, anupdated filing showed Friday.The updated plan suggests a tighter relationship with Chinese e-commerce giantAlibaba as Weibo spins off from the Internet firm Sina, another major player inChina.The filing by Weibo scales back the amount indicated last month of up to $500million.The initial public offering (IPO) will include 20 million shares, with an option forthree million additional shares if there is enough demand.The price per share was set at a range of $17-$19 in the updated filing with the USSecurities and Exchange Commission.The shares will be listed on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol "WB." The date of
the market debut was not announced.The document said a unit of Alibaba had agreed to buy three million shares in theIPO and had an option to increase its stake up to 30 percent of the total capital ofthe company, up from the current level of 18 percent.The Alibaba unit Ali WB could obtain up to 32 percent of the ordinary shares, whichwould give it 15 percent of the voting power.Funds from Alibaba will be used to repay loans from Sina, according to the filing.But Sina would still hold 56.9 percent of the capital after the IPO, down from 79.9percent.The filing omits some financial information usually included because it is an"emerging growth company" with more lenient reporting requirements forcompanies with less than $1 billion in revenues.The latest filing indicates a corporate structure that will see Weibo registered in theCayman Islands, and owned by a Hong Kong corporation which is in turn owned byChinese entities.Weibo was launched in August 2009 with a business model reminiscent of that ofTwitter -- which is banned in China.Weibo reported revenues for 2013 of $188 million, triple the level of 2012, but has
continually lost money, like its US counterpart, with accumulated losses of $274.9million as of December 31.
Despite Weibo's vast popularity in China its ascent has hit a few speed bumpsrecently due to a social media crackdown by Beijing and the rise of rival Tencent'smobile app, WeChat.