Chinese social network’s stock jumps 47% after it says it’s raising money through cryptocurrency

  • Renren is looking to raise funds through an initial coin offering (ICO), according to a white paper released Tuesday.
  • Its stock climb 47.39 percent to $18.32 a share by the close of the U.S. trading session Wednesday.
Joseph Chen, CEO of Renren
Tomohiro Ohsumi | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Joseph Chen, CEO of Renren

The share price of Chinese social network Renren has almost doubled after the company said it was raising money through a digital currency sale.

Renren is looking to raise funds through an initial coin offering (ICO), according to a white paper released Tuesday. It laid out plans for a so-called "open social network platform based on blockchain" called RRCoin.

The company, headquartered in China and listed on the New York Stock Exchange, saw its stock climb 47.39 percent to $18.32 a share by the close of the U.S. trading session Wednesday.

Renren declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.

Start-ups bagged billions of dollars through ICOs last year, but regulators are looking to crack down on the method due to concerns over fraud. A number of celebrities, from socialite Paris Hilton to rapper Ghostface Killah, have given backing to the practice.

China's regulators moved to ban ICO in 2017, saying the practice involved financial scams and other illegal activities. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has raised its own concerns over the means of funding, and in December froze the assets of a firm that raised funds through an ICO.

Several companies have seen their stock price soar after claiming an involvement with cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

U.S. retailer Overstock.com has seen its stock price skyrocket since it said it was entering the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, while small cap fruit juice company Future Fintech — formerly known as SkyPeople Fruit Juice — surged as much as 200 percent on the mere mention of financial technology (fintech) in its name.