Mainland recruitment portal 51job will test investor demand for Chinese internet plays with a US$90 million initial public offering on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Online gaming company Shanda Interactive Entertainment, the last mainland firm to float on the Nasdaq, was forced to reduce the size of its offer by 49 per cent due to lacklustre demand. However, its shares have climbed 36.36 per cent since listing in May. Shares in instant messaging company Tencent Holdings are up 10.81 per cent since their debut in Hong Kong last month. Unlike its peers, 51job is not a 'pure play' internet company. About 62.3 per cent of the company's 293.33 million yuan in revenue last year came from classified advertisements in Career Post Weekly, which is distributed by mainland newspapers. Online job advertising accounted for 26.2 per cent, while executive search services provided 5.4 per cent. It earned a profit of 37.22 million yuan last year. In 2002, 51job - which sounds like 'I want a job' in Putonghua - had 12.75 million yuan in earnings on revenue of 116.98 million yuan. The company plans to use proceeds from the offer to market its brand and fund acquisitions. Morgan Stanley is the lead sponsor. Other sponsors are UBS, Piper Jaffray and CLSA. The company faces increasing competition from rivals such as ChinaHR.com, Cjol.com and Zhaopin.com. Portal giants NetEase.com, Sina.com and Sohu.com also offer job advertising services. DBS Vickers analyst Wallace Cheung said rivals would struggle to catch up, as 51job was a well-known brand on the mainland. 'The company has already built a big database. This is one of the big entry barriers,' he said. 'It's a quite good quality play, as long as the valuation is not too demanding.' Unlike travel portal Ctrip.com, 51job had no large state-run competitor, Mr Cheung said. 51job's other efforts include a foray into the business process outsourcing market, still in its infancy on the mainland. Last year, 51job launched software covering worker attendance, payrolls and holidays. It also manages payroll and benefits processing on an outsourced basis. These businesses, however, had yet to contribute much to 51job's top line. So-called value-added human resource services, such as employee training, software and business process outsourcing, accounted for 6.1 per cent of revenue last year.