iQiyi may launch a secondary listing in Hong Kong as early as the end of this year, Bloomberg reported, citing sources who are close to the matter.
The Nasdaq-traded company has chosen banks for its secondary listing in the city. It is working with advisers including Bank of America, CLSA, and Goldman Sachs, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
The potential share sale could raise at least USD 500 million for iQiyi. The company is still holding discussions and may modify the timeline for its secondary listing or even scrap the process. iQiyi may also choose to work with other banks.
Baidu and iQiyi did not immediately reply to KrASIA’s requests for comment.
In recent months, as Chinese authorities continue to intensify oversight in the tech sector, investors have sold off shares in tech companies, hobbling valuations.
Last month, iQiyi was ordered to cancel its per-episode charges for popular serial dramas and terminate production of “idol competition” programs after facing criticism from state media and government organs.
iQiyi’s shares on the Nasdaq fell as much as 71.7% from a peak of USD 28.90 in the first half of 2021. The company debuted on the US stock exchange three years ago, before China started applying greater scrutiny to offshore listings.
iQiyi will be joining a cluster of “homecoming” listings in Hong Kong as Chinese companies risk being delisted from exchanges in New York if US regulators are not permitted to review their audit records. A law passed last year requires accounting firms to present the financial audits of overseas companies to US regulators. However, Beijing does not allow such reviews out of national security concerns.
iQiyi is a subsidiary of search giant Baidu and is China’s largest streaming service in terms of monthly unique visitors. Roughly a counterpart to Netflix, with some functions drawn from YouTube, the platform produces original movies and TV series. It also carries licensed and user-generated content.