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Renren shares pop 29% in NYSE debut

@CNNMoneyTech May 9, 2011: 2:16 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Shares of Renren, China's largest social-networking service, ended 29% higher Wednesday in its debut on the U.S. stock market.

Renren (RENN) started its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange at $14 a share, but it quickly rose 70% after the start of trade. Shares hovered around $19 for most of the trading session, and they ended 29% higher at $18.01.

The so-called Facebook of China upped its debut price. Last month, it said in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it planned to sell shares for $9 to $11 each.

In that filing, Renren said cited data from iResearch that says it is the leading Chinese social networking site. That's measured by total page views, total number of visits and total user time spent on its websites as of February.

The company's platform -- which also features an online games site, a social commerce site and a professional networking service -- had about 117 million activated users as of March 31, 2011.

Renren's stock jump Wednesday is in line with Chinese Internet stocks' strong performance on the U.S. market in recent months. Back in December, shares of Dangdang (DANG) and Youku (YOKU) -- China's Amazon (AMZN, Fortune 500) and YouTube, respectively -- soared after making their U.S. debuts.

Experts have said Renren competitor Kaixin001 could also go public in the U.S. this year. To top of page