The Wall Street money machine gets a big test Thursday night when a Chinese search engine prices 4 million initial shares for listing on the

Nasdaq

.

Baidu.com

(BIDU) - Get Report

, based in Beijing, said in a regulatory filing that it expects the shares to price at $23 to $25 apiece, up from its earlier range of $19 to $21. It has also increased the size of the IPO to 4.04 million shares from the previously announced 3.6 million.

At the midpoint of its projected price range, Baidu.com will raise $101 million.

As the Chinese counterpart to the popular U.S. search company

Google

(GOOG) - Get Report

, Baidu.com is being compared to one of the hottest Wall Street IPOs of the last half-decade. Its revenue is only a fraction of Google's, but it has shown impressive growth in recent years, posting $4.5 million in operating cash flow in 2004 after breaking even the previous year. Google owns a 2.6% stake in the company.

Baidu will make its Wall Street debut at a time when Chinese companies have become a lightning rod in the U.S. financial markets and political circles. The Chinese government's recent revaluation of its currency followed a couple of attempts by Chinese companies to acquire U.S. assets, including the controversial bid for

Unocal

( UCL).

Meanwhile, the fast-growing Chinese economy has long been viewed as a new frontier for U.S. multinational corporations looking to find emerging markets, such as

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

and

Starbucks

(SBUX) - Get Report

.

With about 20 Chinese companies having listed on the Nasdaq since 2000, only about three Chinese IPOs have taken place in 2005, including

Hurray

( HRAY),

China Techfaith

(CNTF)

and

Focus Media

( FMCN).

Other Chinese companies with popular stocks trading on the Nasdaq include

Sina.com

(SINA) - Get Report

and

Sohu.com

(SOHU) - Get Report

.