Tencent rival NetEase launches Hong Kong IPO

Tech giant NetEase, parent company of NetEase Cloud Music, has launched its IPO on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEHK) under the code, 9999.HK.

The Financial Times reports that the company is aiming to raise around $2.6 billion through the secondary listing, which could be elevated to as much as $3bn, if a so-called “green shoe” option is executed by bankers, according to the FT.

NetEase has traded publicly on the Nasdaq in New York since June, 2000, and is only the second company to launch a secondary listing in Hong Kong. Alibaba became the first in 2019.

The firm’s shares will start trading on June 11, reports Reuters.

The company has chosen CICC, Credit Suisse and J.P. Morgan as the joint sponsors and joint global coordinators for the proposed IPO.

The firm, which, via its subsidiary NetEase Gaming, develops and operates some of China’s most popular mobile and PC-based games, plans to use the net proceeds from the IPO for “globalization strategies and opportunities”.

NetEase recently confirmed in its Q4 results that its music service NetEase Cloud Music surpassed over 800m registered users at the end of last year.

NetEase also claims that the music of more than 100,000 independent artists was played more than 270 billion times on the platform in 2019.

“Becoming more global is a crucial part of and an inevitable step in NetEase’s growth.”

William Ding, NetEase

Writing in a letter to NetEase investors last week, the company’s CEO William Ding said that “Becoming more global is a crucial part of and an inevitable step in NetEase’s growth”.

“Our vision to ‘foster collaboration and realize people’s aspiration for a better life through technology and innovation’ calls for a bigger platform.

“Going forward, as we continue to solidify our position in China, we will also further expand overseas, driving innovation and breakthroughs through incubation, investment, collaboration, and strategic partnerships.

“We strongly believe that high-quality Chinese products and services deserve more spotlight on the international stage.

“As we come to NetEase’s 20th listing anniversary this month, we are at another new starting point. We are also preparing our secondary listing on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, bringing our established brand back to China.

“I believe that returning to a market that is closer to our roots will further fuel our passion in our business and our users.”Music Business Worldwide

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