JD.com, NetEase take US$6b listing tests

Business | Avery Chen and Bloomberg 28 May 2020

NetEase and JD.com, the mainland's second-largest game company and e-commerce firm respectively, are seeking to pass listing-committee hearings for their secondary listings today to raise as much as US$6 billion (HK$46.8 billion) in total, local media reported citing sources.

NetEase will launch a paperless initial public offering from June 2 to June 5, which will enable the Tencent (0700) rival to begin trading in Hong Kong on June 11, a week earlier than JD.com, the report said.

Mainland e-commerce giant Alibaba (9988) carried out the city's first fully automated listing in November last year.

The game developer's IPO size also has been enlarged to between US$2 billion and US$3 billion, compared with up to US$2 billion in previous reports.

Meanwhile, JD.com is planning to make its mainboard debut on June 18, the date of its "618" online shopping festival, to raise as much as US$3 billion. The IPO subscription period will be scheduled from June 8 to June 11.

JD.com yesterday announced a strategic partnership with Kuaishou Technology, a Tencent (0700)-backed video app startup, for short video e-commerce live streaming during the "618" shopping festival.

From June 16 to 18, Kuaishou users will be able to buy JD's products without leaving the Kuaishou app, while some of Kuaishou's live-streaming influencers will help advertise JD's products, competing against Alibaba's Taobao Live and Pinduoduo.

Seen as one of the potential big winners from last week's US Senate bill to limit listings of Chinese companies, Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (0388) now faces what could be an even more rocky year than 2019, when political unrest cooled trading and brought revenue growth to a near standstill.

Charles Li Xiaojia, chief executive of HKEX, yesterday said that the exchange now sees a possible shift of some companies from the United States to Hong Kong, but also pointed out the risks of politics becoming part of the equation.

"We actually don't want to see somehow those strategic decisions, corporate decisions, commercial decisions being affected by political considerations," he said.

"But sometimes you can't really help with certain political challenges that frequently visit upon us."

Separately, New Ruipeng Pet Healthcare Group is seeking to raise about US$300 million at a valuation of about US$3 billion ahead of its planned IPO, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Hillhouse Capital-backed pet clinic operator has approached potential investors including Tencent (0700), which could invest about US$50 million.

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