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Kuaishou stock pops 160% in Hong Kong IPO

Kuaishou’s stock more than doubled in value Friday as the TikTok-like video app scored the world’s biggest IPO since the coronavirus pandemic began.

As of 12:30 p.m. local time, shares were trading at 303.60 Hong Kong dollars ($39.20) apiece, marking a 164% jump. At its peak, its stock had climbed 200% to reach 345 Hong Kong dollars ($44.50).

Kuaishou came out strong right off the bat on Friday, opening at 338 Hong Kong dollars ($43.60). The firm had priced its shares at 115 Hong Kong dollars ($14.80) each to raise a total of 41.28 billion Hong Kong dollars ($5.32 billion).

If the company exercises an over-allotment option, that number could go up to 47 billion Hong Kong dollars (almost $6.1 billion).

It’s the world’s biggest tech listing since Uber’s IPO in May 2019, and the largest public offering globally since Saudi Aramco’s in December 2019, according to data provider Eikon Refinitiv.

Kuaishou is one of China’s leading social media giants. The company, whose name means “fast hand” in Chinese, owns an eponymous short-video and live-streaming app with more than 300 million daily active users.

It gets most of its revenue from the live-streaming business, where users can buy virtual items and present them as gifts to their favorite hosts. Live-streaming transactions accounted for 84% of revenue in 2019, according to a stock exchange filing. It also makes money off of online advertising.

The company’s listing had been widely anticipated for months. In a filing this week, it said that the offering had been heavily oversubscribed.

Kuaishou is the latest company to make a splash by going public in Hong Kong, which has spent the last year reinventing itself as a hot venue for Chinese tech firms.

Since 2019, Alibaba, NetEase and JD.com have all held secondary listings in the Asian financial hub. The city also made changes last year intended to attract even more companies. Index compiler Hang Seng Indexes, for example, launched a Nasdaq-like technology index to track the largest tech firms that trade in the city.

Though its listing proves a major win, Kuaishou still faces significant challenges. It’s long competed with industry leader ByteDance, which owns the Douyin app — the Chinese version of TikTok.

The listing also comes at a time when the tech sector is facing a regulatory clampdown in China. In its prospectus, Kuaishou alluded to that risk, pointing to “the fact that the internet business is highly regulated in China.”

— Laura He and Jill Disis contributed to this report.

CNN Newssource

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