Wang then began writing software for the Internet, and at the end of 1998 merged his own firm with a Silicon Valley-based Chinese portal set up by three Taiwanese students from Stanford University. Wang renamed the site Sina, shifted its main operations to Beijing and concentrated on Web-based news. Sina exploded onto the larger Chinese scene last May when NATO planes bombed China's embassy in Belgrade. Wang's site was the quickest, most reliable source of news for an enraged nation.
Sina's coverage of the bombing and its mix of mainland Chinese talent with U.S. technology boosted the portal past its biggest rival, Sohu. Investment banks began knocking on Wang's door with offers to take Sina public on NASDAQ. But for the time being Wang has Bill Gates-like problems with the Chinese government, which feels he has gotten too big for his boots and is making him wait for his IPO. Chastened, he now says, "The most important thing is to communicate with the government and know what it is doing." But also like Gates, he's having difficulty working out precisely what that might be.
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TIME Asia home
China's Hottest Websites
Sina.com The biggest, heavy on news
Netease.com E-mail provider turned portal
Sohu.com Lost early competitive advantage due to management problems
BUSINESS-TO-CONSUMER AND AUCTIONS
8848.net Online shopping with preexisting network of retail stores to deliver goods
Dangdang.com Online bookseller
Eachnet.com Leading auction site
Clubciti.com More auctions
Alibaba.com Worldwide trading of products
Meetchina.com Online registry of Chinese exporters
Zhaodaola.com Lifestyle portal
Globallink.com Fun online: chess, bridge, mahjong, strategy games
Chinanow.com City listings: restaurants, clubs, events
Myrice.com Collection of sites including soccer results, games, jokes, software
Homeway.com.cn financial information
Stockstar.com share price lists; part of shanghai.online
Zhaopin.com Good source for openings at foreign firms
51job.com Listings of jobs at Chinese companies
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