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When China closes one IPO door, another opensINTL

When China closes one IPO door, another opens

Once bitten, twice shy — it looks like Chinese companies have learned that the hard way as popular China-based podcasting platform Ximalaya Inc has abandoned its filing for a US IPO and is setting sail for Hong Kong instead.

The Tencent Holdings-backed company is an online audio streaming platform, which offers mainly audiobooks and podcasts to users. In April, the company filed for a US IPO with plans to list on either the NYSE or Nasdaq Stock Exchange — but following China’s tech crackdowns, it quickly rethought its decision.

China’s crackdown has been ongoing since July when the government said that any Chinese firms with personal data on at least one million Chinese users would face stricter rules. As a result, Ximalaya withdrew its filing for a US IPO and is in talks to file in Hong Kong. The listing is estimated to raise roughly $500m, helping the company scale. Ximalaya had about 250m active monthly users in Q1 2021 and it captured about 75% of the mobile listening time in China during 2020.

why it matters

Ximalaya’s backtrack is predictable and further dampens hopes of the US as a viable listing site for future Chinese companies. Xiamalaya joins the other firms that have also backed out recently including Chinese lifestyle platform Xiaohongshu, e-commerce site Meicai, and fitness app Keep.