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Chinese AI Unicorn Megvii Gears Up for Shanghai IPO
Zhang Yushuo
DATE:  Jan 13 2021
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
Chinese AI Unicorn Megvii Gears Up for Shanghai IPO Chinese AI Unicorn Megvii Gears Up for Shanghai IPO

(Yicai Global) Jan. 13 -- Chinese artificial intelligence unicorn Megvii Technology plans to go public for the first time with a listing in Shanghai, after reportedly abandoning a Hong Kong offering a year and a half ago.

Megvii will list Chinese Depository Receipts on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Nasdaq-like Star Market, the Beijing bureau of the China Securities Regulatory Commission said on its website yesterday. The Beijing-based company is receiving pre-listing tutoring from CITIC Securities.

Formed by three graduates of Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University in 2011, Megvii makes AI hardware and software used in camera systems. Its Face++ scanning system is well known. The company has finished nine funding rounds. Tech titan Alibaba Group Holding is its largest shareholder with a 29 percent stake via its Ant Group and Taobao affiliates. 

Megvii filed for an initial public offering in Hong Kong in August 2019, but reportedly allowed the application to lapse after the US Department of Commerce added the firm in October 2019 to its so-called Entity List of firms it claims pose a threat to US national security.

Last June the company said it had not withdrawn its Hong Kong IPO plan, but added that it was also considering Shanghai’s Star Market because the board supports core technology companies to go public and offers great opportunities for such firms to grow.

Megvii, SenseTime, Yitu Technology and Cloud Walk Technology are dubbed China’s ‘four computer vision technology tigers.’ SenseTime aside, the others are also preparing to list on the Star Market.

Megvii had CNY1.4 billion (USD216.6 million) in operating revenue in 2018, up 357 percent from a year earlier, and CNY949 million (USD146.8 million) in the first half of 2019, up 210 percent, as well as around CNY5.2 billion in losses stemming from changes in the fair value of preferred stocks and steady investment in research and development.

Editor: Ben Armour

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Keywords:   Megvii Technology,IPO,Star Market