Weibo Mulling Plans to Launch Hong Kong IPO

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Chinese social media giant Weibo [WB:US] is planning to launch a secondary listing on the HKEX by year-end, as reported by SCMP on February 19 citing people familiar with the matter. Weibo is currently in the early stage of negotiations with advisors, and details regarding the size of the share sale and timing of the sale are subject to change.

The move comes during a rise in Hong Kong share sales by US-listed Chinese firms that seek to hedge against the risk of being delisted from the US exchanges amid ongoing US-China trade friction. On January 4, NYSEX announced plans to delist major Chinese Telcos China Mobile [CHL:US], China Unicom [0762:HK] and China Telecom [0728:HK]. The announcement came after in November 2020, US President Trump signed an executive order that barred American citizens from investing in firms with alleged links to the Chinese military. According to Bloomberg, in June 2020, JD.com [JD:US] launched a USD3.9bn IPO on the HKEX, while NetEase [NTES:US] priced its listing at HKD123 per share during the same period. The listings also provide a broader range of investors for Chinese firms that is also close to the mainland. Chinese music-streaming app Tencent Music [TME:US], Autohome [ATHM:US] and Baidu [BIDU:US] also plan to launch Hong Kong IPOs by year-end.

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