Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn In April 2000, just before the dot com bubble burst on Wall Street, a promising Chinese internet startup called Sina.com made its debut on the Nasdaq Stock Market, raising $68 million in an initial public offering. The company, which had offices in Beijing and Silicon Valley, seemed primed for success. It had won financial backing from Michael S. Dell and Goldman Sachs; its auditor was PwC; and its founders included graduates of Stanford University’s elite engineering program. It was not Sina’s strategy, however, that set it apart — since its business model bore a strong resemblance to Yahoo — but its invention of an arcane legal maneuver that over the next two decades would fuel the company’s growth and help fundamentally reshape China, the global financial markets and the secretive world of offshore finance. Sina Plaza, the company's headquarters in Beijing. Sina is the parent company of Weibo, China's popular Twitter-like blogging platform. CrSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.