Tuesday, June 22

shares rise nearly 200% in $5.3 billion Hong Kong debut

Kuaishou headquarters is pictured on November 5, 2020 in Beijing, China.

VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images

GUANGZHOU, China — Shares of Chinese short video company Kuaishou rose nearly 200% at the open on its debut in Hong Kong.

The technology firm raised 41.28 billion Hong Kong dollars ($5.32 billion) from the initial public offering (IPO) after pricing its shares at 115 Hong Kong dollars each, at the top of its expected range.

Kuaishou shares opened up at 338 Hong Kong dollars.

The company’s main business is a short video app and it makes money from users who buy virtual gifts to give to their favorite streamers. Kuaishou is also pushing into new areas such as e-commerce.

Kuaishou said its IPO was oversubscribed with demand high. If the so-called overallotment option is exercised, which allows the investment bank to issue more shares, then Kuaishou could raise over $6 billion.

Ten cornerstone investors led by Capital Group and involving BlackRock and Fidelity invested in the IPO.

Kuaishou’s listing will be a test of appetite for Chinese technology firms just as Beijing steps up its scrutiny of the sector in areas from anti-monopoly to data protection. In November, the Chinese government introduced rules around live-streaming shopping, which could impact Kuaishou.

The IPO is also another win for the Hong Kong stock exchange which has managed to attract high profile technology companies and secondary listings. U.S.-listed Chinese companies including Alibaba and JD.com have also raised money in Hong Kong. CNBC reported that Nasdaq-listed Chinese video company Bilibili has filed for a secondary listing in Hong Kong too.

Kuaishou faces stiff competition in China from rivals such as Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok owned by ByteDance, as well as Tencent’s WeChat messaging app.

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