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Chinese Video Streaming App Inke Plans HK IPO After Failed Attempt For Back-Door A-Share Listing

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Chinese video streaming app Inke is reportedly seeking an initial public offering in Hong Kong after a failed attempt last year to complete a back-door A-share listing in China.

There is no official filings yet and Inke did not immediately respond to China Money Network’s inquiry to confirm the plan.

Hong Kong is expected to attract record number of IPOs by mainland Chinese companies this year as the Hong Kong Stock Exchange seeks to implement a historical overhaul of its listing rules in order to win market share from New York and other exchanges. Already, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc and Alibaba’s financial services giant Ant Financial are rumored to plan for a public share float in Hong Kong.

Founded in 2015, Inke is among a number of popular live video streaming apps where millions of young Chinese watch live Karaoke singing and other performances of other users as a means of leisure. According to research firm Analysys, the platform recorded monthly active users of over 16 million in January 2017.

The company, backed by China’s SAIF Partners, GSR Ventures and other investors, planed a reverse merger last April with Shenzhen-listed Shunya International Brand Consulting (Beijing) Co., Ltd, a marketing and communications services firm.

In that planned transaction, Shunya agreed to acquire over 50% of Beijing Milaiwu Network Technology Co., the developer behind Inke, in what would essentially be a reverse merger.

The deal subsequently attracted the attention of China’s securities regulator regarding its valuation, as Inke was valued at a rich RMB2.89 billion (US$456 million) for a two-year-old company with weak financials. The deal ultimately was terminated in December 2017 by Shunya.

Inke raised a series A round worth tens of million RMB in 2015 from investors including SAIF Partners, GSR Ventures and Shanghai Buttonwood Capital. The company later sold stakes to Beijing Kunlun Tech and GX Capital in 2016.

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