Jim Sun, an analyst with London-headquartered Evolution Securities, believes that Shanghai-based Ctrip, the country's biggest Internet travel service company, will enjoy a bright future as more and more people opt to shop online.

Ctrip's revenues almost doubled year-on-year to US$40.3 million in 2004 and its net profits also increased from US$6.5 million to US$16.1 million over the same period.

"Although Ctrip's profit earning (P/E) ratio is already quite high, it is actually safer to invest in high P/E stocks, because they have good potential and less regulatory uncertainties," said Sun.

According to market research house iResearch Co Ltd, the online travel service market will grow from 610 million yuan (US$73.67 million) in 2004 to 2.8 billion yuan (US$338 million) in 2007.

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