Chinese Video Site Tudou Brings Its Growing Losses To Wall Street

Chinese video site Tudou is following its rival Youkou to the Nasdaq, expecting to price its “TUDO” shares between $28 and $30, according to its SEC filing.

Tudou expects to reap $143.5 million from the sale, of which it wants to spend $60 million to fund content acquisition and in-house production and $30 million to expand internet bandwidth capacity.

Right now, the company is massively loss-making. Its annual losses more than doubled in 2010, and its first-quarter this year nearly matched its entire 2010 loss. See our chart…

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Tudou’s prospectus cites research showing online video and associated advertising is set to explode, a wave it hopes to ride.

But, under a swathe of risks, it concedes to highlight “our history of net losses and uncertainty with respect to our ability to achieve and maintain profitability in the future”, “our incurrence of negative cash flow”, “our reliance on the online advertising industry for substantially all of our revenues” and even and “our limited history operating an online video website”.

Indeed, Tudou says “we expect our costs and expenses to increase as we expand our operations”.

This looks suspiciously like the kind of IPO frenzy the U.S. saw around 1999. It would be ironic if the current financial market turmoil encouraged investors to hold on to their cash – after all, the largest holder of U.S. debt is… Tudou’s motherland.

Fredrik Öqvist has excellent analysis of Tudou’s missteps at his China Finance blog.

Five months after its December IPO, Youkou’s shares had nearly doubled, but have since sunk back to below their debut rate.

Tudou by the numbers

Registered users:

90.1 million

Unique users:

200 million

Daily uploads:


Mobile users:

27.2 million so far this year