Renren, once hailed as the 'Chinese Facebook,' plots a new chapter in Phoenix

Posted at 8:42 AM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 10:42:42-05

PHOENIX — Phoenix is home to several international tech companies, but here’s one you likely have not heard about: Renren Inc.

Renren originally launched as a Chinese social networking platform and was once hailed as China's answer to Facebook, but the company has since exited the social network business and become a holding company. Renren is currently based in Beijing, but its U.S. office is located in Phoenix.

Chris Palmer, CFO of Renren (NYSE: RENN), said the company is looking to establish a greater presence in Phoenix. Renren bought a 17,843-square-foot building at 45 W Buchanan St. in downtown Phoenix earlier this year, and Palmer said it will soon be the company’s new HQ.

“Over the course of the next few years, we will probably become a one of the more significant tech presences in the city,” Palmer said. “We would like to put ourselves in a position to be a consequential presence in the city.”

Most of the company’s top leadership is already here in the Valley, including the company’s founder Joseph Chen, who works out of the company’s Phoenix offices.

Renren may be based in China, but it derives virtually all (96.8% at the end of 2020) of its revenue from two software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, Chime Technologies Inc. and Trucker Path Inc., which are both based in Phoenix and focused on serving U.S. customers.

Read more of this story from the Phoenix Business Journal.