Alibaba-backed bike-sharing platform Hellobike cancels US IPO plans
Published: Jul 28, 2021 10:46 PM
Hellobike Photo: VCG

Hellobike Photo: VCG

Alibaba-backed bike-sharing platform Hellobike canceled its IPO plan in the US stock market three months after submitting its prospectus, according to the company’s regulatory filling on Tuesday.

“The company is seeking withdrawal of the Registration Statement because it no longer wishes to conduct a public offering of securities at this time,” said the filing.

The company will make further decisions on the IPO process in accordance with new regulations and the capital market environment, the reported on Wednesday, citing sources from Hellobike. 

Hellobike has not been the only Chinese firm to cancel its US IPO plans. The popular fitness app Keep and online audio-sharing platform Ximalaya have also pulled their IPO plans, according to the Financial Times.

The tension in China-US relations has led to Chinese firms feeling that they are being discriminated against in the US market. And given China’s tightening cybersecurity reviews for internet companies seeking overseas IPOs, and the fact that the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is an appealing alternative to US stock markets, more and more Chinese firms have decided to turn away from US IPOs, Dong Dengxin, director of the Finance and Securities Institute of Wuhan University, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

After the HKEX carried out a major reform in 2018, the stock market has become more inclusive, internationalized and liberalized, even surpassing the US stock market, which has become politicized and has violated the rules of free market economics, according to Dong. Companies are just as well-off listing on the HKEX instead of the NYSE, Dong said.

"The US' launch of the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, which allows access to Chinese companies' audit working papers, has specifically targeted Chinese companies and increased the regulatory risks for Chinese stocks listed in the US,” said Dong, adding that this would inevitably affect investors’ evaluation of pricing.  

Moreover, Chinese regulators are “tightening scrutiny of internet companies that seek IPOs in overseas markets, which has also impacted some Chinese firms’ attitude toward overseas listings,” Dong noted.

China’s cybersecurity reviews for internet companies seeking overseas IPOs include a new threshold, under which businesses holding the data of more than a million users in China must undergo a regulatory review before applying for an overseas IPO. It’s part of the country's resolve to rein in potential national security risks brought by domestic businesses that own large amounts of data.

A large number of China concept stocks listed on the US stock market have continued plunging in the past two trading days, losing a total market value of $250 billion, media reports said. 

Global Times