Gabriel Wildau at the Financial Times has the story of Shanghai Duolun Industry, which jumped 10 percent on Monday (the maximum daily limit allowed on the Shanghai exchange) after it announced that it had changed its name to P2P Financial Information Service and purchased the URL, www.p2p.com.
The thing is, Duolun is not a peer-to-peer lending company and it reportedly has no plans to become one. It admitted as much in a filing. The website doesn’t have any information on P2P lending, either. It doesn’t have much—only a few stock photos of attractive people and a reminder in several languages that “This domain is worth $100 million.”
That’s all it takes. It sounds like a story straight out of the dot-com days of the late 1990s, when every company with a website felt like the hot new tech startup, and investors all thought they had found golden tickets. Judging by the money pouring into China’s stock market in 2015, this won’t be the only such story you’ll hear. In fact, the FT notes in aseparate article that almost 100 Chinese-listed companies changed their official names last year and often instituted radical shifts in strategy as they sought to jump on the tech bandwagon.