Monday, June 27, 2011

Forgotten NetQin May Soon Be a Value Play

By Eric Jackson
RealMoney Contributor

6/27/2011 1:45 PM EDT
Click here for more stories by Eric Jackson

NetQin Mobile (NQ - commentary - Trade Now) is a Chinese company that went public less than two months ago. It's been a bumpy ride -- shares have dropped since the IPO, as NetQin has been caught in the downdraft of everything China-related in this most recent market swoon.

I met with CFO Suhai Ji earlier this month at the company's Beijing offices.

NetQin -- which is going to start branding itself "NQ" in the U.S. because too many Americans don't know how to pronounce the "Qin" part of its name -- is in the mobile security space. NetQin's ambition is to be theMcAfee (MFE - commentary - Trade Now) or Symantec (SYMC - commentary - Trade Now) of the mobile world.

No such mobile security pure play exists today. That makes NetQin unique in that most Chinese companies get criticized for being unoriginal. Most are considered "copycats" of whatever works in the U.S. We have the "YouTube of China" in Youku (YOKU - commentary - Trade Now), the "Twitter of China" in Sina (SINA -commentary - Trade Now), and the "Facebook of China" in Renren (RENN - commentary - Trade Now).

But, so far, rather than being credited for trying a new approach, NetQin has been penalized for being in too small a niche.

The company has taken it on all sides of late. Not only has NetQin been punished by investors as part of the "anti-China" bias that has permeated the market in May and June, it was targeted for criticism even prior to its IPO.


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