Tecent’s Kuaishou files for IPO that could raise as much as $5 billion

TikTok's competitor had users uploading 1.1 billion short videos per month and hosting nearly one billion live streaming sessions on its app in the first half of the year

Smartphone with the app Kwai on the screen
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Tencent-backed Kuaishou has filed for an initial public offering this Thursday;
  • With the IPO, the Chinese short video platform could raise up to $5 billion;
  • The timetable or other key details of the listing weren’t disclosed to the date.

Chinese short-video platform Kuaishou has filed for an initial public offering in the Hong Kong stock exchange on Thursday that could raise up to $5 billion. 

Backed by tech giant Tencent, Kuaishou’s listing plans come at a time of an uncertain future for its rival ByteDance’s TikTok, who has been facing concerns over personal data collected in the US market. While in China, Kuaishow’s app works with the same name, in other markets such as Brazil and Mexico, its equivalent app is Kwai.

In the first half of 2020, Kuaishou hit an average of 302 million daily active users, with revenues climbing from 17.1 billion yuan ($2.5 billion) in the first six months of 2019 to 25.3 billion yuan ($3.8 billion) in 2020’s first half, according to the preliminary prospectus. In Brazil, Kwai surpassed 12 million daily active users as of May.

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First founded in 2011 as a tool for users to create and share GIFs, Kuaishou launched its own short video social platform in 2013, and in 2016, it launched its live-streaming feature.

In 2018, the company entered the e-commerce market, increasing its chance to keep users inside the platform. The gross merchandise volume generated in its e-commerce venture during the first half of 2020 reached as much as $16.5 billion. 

Kuaishou monetizes through the sale of virtual items, online marketing services, and commissions from e-commerce sales on its platform. No additional information such as the offering’s timetable was announced in its preliminary prospectus.

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