Rocky Nasdaq debut for Bilibili

Updated 2018-03-30 11:42:09 China Daily

Chen Rui (center), chairman of Bilibili Inc, and his colleagues attend the company's stock trading debut on the Nasdaq in New York on Wednesday.

Bilibili Inc, a popular Chinese video-sharing platform for younger viewers, began its first day of trading on Wednesday by debuting below its offer price, a rocky start as a public company on Wall Street.

The Shanghai-based company's stock opened at .8 on the Nasdaq, below its initial public offering price of .5. The price dropped as low as .62 during its first trading session before closing at .24, as tech stocks were hard hit.

Touted as the largest online entertainment platform for Generation Z-those born between 1990 and 2009-the company said in its IPO prospectus that it aims to enrich the everyday life of the younger generation in China with an ever-growing supply of creative content.

"The raised money will be used to increase spending on building technological infrastructure, create more creative content and recruit more skilled professionals," Chen Rui, chairman of Bilibili, said in an interview with news media on Wednesday.

Unlike traditional video sites, Bilibili's website focuses on anime, comics and games content, and offers several features to target the younger generation, including a bullet screen function to allow comments to shoot across the screen.

Bilibili cites QuestMobile data in the IPO prospectus, saying that more than 80 percent of its users were from Generation Z. As of the end of 2017, the company had 71.8 million active monthly users.

The company reported revenue of 9.4 million and a net loss of .2 million in 2017.

Most of Bilibili's revenue comes from games, which accounted for 83.4 percent of the total last year, while live streaming and advertising only contributed 7.1 percent and 6.5 percent respectively.

Ma Shicong, an analyst at Beijing-based internet consultancy Analysys, said Bilibili appeals to Chinese younger people's specific need for their own culture and more forms of entertainment.

"As the digital-savvy younger generation commands rising purchasing power, its previously marginalized culture is gaining momentum. Such young people have a high degree of loyalty to things they really love, and they will be willing to pay for this," Ma said.

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