NetEase Cloud Music May Raise $1 Billion after Listing Hearing

Hong Kong media reported on Monday that Chinese gaming giant NetEase’s music streaming arm NetEase Cloud Music would pass its listing hearing as soon as this week, eyeing raising about $1 billion. Its co-sponsors are Merrill Lynch, CICC and Credit Suisse. The music platform declined to comment on the news.

On May 26, NetEase announced it planned to list NetEase Cloud Music independently on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. At the end of May, NetEase Cloud Music submitted a listing application.

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According to the prospectus, NetEase holds 62.46% of Netease Cloud Music’s shares. Its other shareholders include Taobao under Alibaba, Novel Entertainment under Yunfeng Financial Group and Baidu.

Starting to operate in 2013, the Hangzhou-based music platform gets revenue mainly from online music services and social entertainment. Last year, its annual revenue reached 4.89 billion yuan ($755 million).

By the end of 2020, its online music service enjoyed 180.5 million monthly active users and 16 million monthly paying users. The number of monthly paying users of its social entertainment service is 327,000, contributing 573.8 yuan income to the platform every month.

On July 24, as the biggest competitor of NetEase Cloud Music, Tencent Music, which was listed on NYSE in 2018, was ordered by anti-monopoly regulators to relinquish exclusive music licensing rights within 30 days. NetEase Cloud Music said in a statement it supports the decision, and will for its part operate in compliance with laws and regulations, banning the behavior of inflating copyright prices.

According to Caixin, an online music platform practitioner said: “the number of songs in music libraries of NetEase Cloud Music and Tencent Music is actually similar, but the latter has got the 1% scarce resources in the market, such as Jay Chou’s songs, which is exactly what most users want to hear.”

Many investors believe that this rectification will break the exclusive copyright position of Tencent Music and help NetEase Cloud Music to go public independently.