Chinese firms launch most tech IPOs: report

Updated 2018-04-11 10:47:01 Xinhua

Chinese tech firms topped the world in the number of initial public offerings (IPOs) in the second half (H2) of 2017, according to a private report, as a booming new economy created enormous room for internet startups to thrive.

Twenty-three businesses operating on the Chinese mainland went public domestically or on overseas markets, raising a total of 4.65 billion U.S. dollars from July to December last year, the PwC China report said Tuesday.

Both China's number and value of IPOs ranked first in the global tech community, followed by the United States with 14 IPOs raising 2.86 billion U.S. dollars.

China Reading, the country's largest online publisher, raised around 1.1 billion U.S. dollars in Hong Kong last November in the world's second biggest technology offering in H2 of 2017.

Analysts attributed the IPO surge of Chinese tech firms to vibrant web-based industries. Innovations powered by internet technology are springing up and the group of tech-savvy young consumers is growing rapidly.

China's new economy, also known as the digital economy, totaled 26 trillion yuan (4.28 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2017, accounting for around 32 percent of national GDP.

From ride-hailing to online financing, innovative startups are sprouting into giants and becoming eager for more investment and financing.

"More Chinese firms in the technology, media, and telecom sectors turned to overseas markets after being blocked by legal and technical barriers in the A-share market, especially those yet to make profits," said Walter Zhang, PwC China assurance partner.

However, the phenomenon is about to change as regulators started to loosen rules to woo more homegrown tech firms to go public on the Chinese mainland.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission has announced a pilot program to help promising startups get listed and allow leading tech firms that have gone public abroad to re-issue shares on the mainland.

"China will become one of the world's hottest IPO markets," said Amanda Zhang, PwC China private equity partner.

There were a total of 53 technology offerings worldwide last year which raised around 13.2 billion U.S. dollars, according to the report.

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