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Anticipation over Facebook Inc.'s pending initial public offering has fueled a recent surge in stock prices of social media companies in China, where Facebook is blocked.
But while China's some 500 million Internet users have flocked to locally operated social networking sites in Facebook's absence, a lack of a dominant player in the sector makes it unlikely that a "Facebook of China" will appear anytime soon.
Shares of New York Stock Exchange-listed Renren Inc., a Facebook-like social-networking site, climbed 33% since market close on Thursday to $5.55 at the end of trading Tuesday following reports that Facebook expects to file for an IPO this week. Shares of Nasdaq-listed Sina Corp., which runs a popular Twitter-like microblogging service called Weibo, rose 13% to $70.27 in the same period.