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Chinese facial recognition unicorn Megvii prepares China IPO

Chinese facial recognition unicorn Megvii prepares China IPO

Megvii, one in all China’s largest facial recognition startups, is gearing up for an preliminary public providing in Shanghai. The firm is working with CITIC Securities to arrange for its deliberate itemizing, in response to an announcement posted by the China Securities Regulatory Commission on Tuesday.

The transfer got here greater than a 12 months after Megvii, identified for its pc imaginative and prescient platform Face++, filed to go public in Hong Kong in August 2019. At the time, Reuters reported that the corporate might increase between $500 million and $1 billion. However, the agency’s IPO utility in Hong Kong has lapsed for undisclosed causes and its focus is now on Shanghai’s STAR board, an individual with data of the matter informed TechCrunch.

In 2019, China established the STAR board to draw high-growth, unprofitable Chinese tech startups after shedding them to the U.S. for years. In the meantime, a home flotation is more and more interesting to Chinese companies, particularly people who depend on authorities contracts and are caught within the U.S.-China tech competitors.

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Megvii and its rivals SenseTime, Yitu, and CloudWalk are collectively acknowledged because the “Four AI Dragons” of China for his or her market dominance and fundings from highflying traders. Megvii’s expertise could be discovered powering sensible metropolis infrastructure throughout China in addition to many smartphones and cell apps. Alibaba, Ant Group and the Bank of China are among the many group of traders who’ve pumped about $1.four billion into the ten-year-old firm since its inception.

The AI Dragons are much less celebrated exterior their house market. Last 12 months, Megvii, Yitu and SenseTime have been added to the U.S. Entity List for his or her alleged roles in enabling the federal government’s mass surveillance of the Muslim minority teams in western China. CloudWalk was subsequently added to the blacklist in 2020 and lower off from its U.S. suppliers.

According to the discover posted by China’s securities authority, Megvii plans to concern Chinese depositary receipts (CDRs), that are much like American depositary receipts and permit home traders to carry abroad shares. That suggests the Beijing-based AI unicorn has not dominated out itemizing exterior mainland China.

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This week, Hong Kong-listed Lenovo, one of many world’s prime PC makers, has additionally introduced plans to promote shares by means of CDRs on the Shanghai tech board.

Currently looking for steerage within the pre-application stage, Megvii’s deliberate itemizing nonetheless wants approval from Chinese regulators.

China opens Nasdaq-style board to lure tech companies again house

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