Kuaishou gets HK bourse nod for float

2021-01-16 12:03:56

An exhibitor uses short video platform Kuaishou to promote sales during an agricultural expo in Chongqing. CHINA DAILY Kuaishou Technology has reportedly received approval from the Hong Kong stock exchange for an initial public offering of about $5 billion, as the short video platform ramps up its monetization efforts amid rising competition from Douyin, an app developed by Beijing ByteDance Technology. The short video platform plans to list its shares in Hong Kong on Feb 5, Tencent News said, quoting people familiar with the matter. The listing date follows after the company filed a preliminary prospectus to the Hong Kong bourse on Nov 5. Kuaishou's IPO would be HK's biggest float since the world's largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev SA's Asian unit raised $5.8 billion in 2019, excluding the secondary listing of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd in the same year. The company, valued at $28 billion during its recent funding round in December 2019, is aiming for a valuation of $50 billion in its planned IPO, according to a report from technology information website 36Kr. ByteDance is also said to be in preliminary discussions to list Douyin in Hong Kong. Shen Meng, director of boutique investment bank Chanson& Co, said more Chinese mainland investors will be able to make investments and get dividends from enterprises that are listed in Hong Kong. Shen noted that Kuaishou has taken the lead in exploring the commercialization model for the short video industry, and made breakthroughs in profitability. According to the prospectus filed by Kuaishou, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and China Renaissance Holdings are joint sponsors for the proposed IPO. The company's total revenue increased from 8.3 billion yuan ($1.28 billion) in 2017 to 39.1 billion yuan in 2019. The figure reached 25.3 billion yuan in the first half of 2020, up 48 percent on a yearly basis. There were 302 million daily active users and 776 million average monthly active users of the Kuaishou app and mini program in China during the first six months of last year. Tencent has about a 21.6 percent stake in Kuaishou, and other backers include venture capital firms DCM,DST Global and Sequoia Capital China, according to the prospectus.