Papaya Mobile Withdraws IPO Application from Shanghai Science & Technology Innovation Board

Beijing Papaya Mobile Technology Co. recently rescinded its IPO application from the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s recently established science and technology innovation board.

On March 29, 2019, the Shanghai Stock Exchange accepted the application for the listing of Papaya Mobile on the new science and technology innovation board, but on July 4, the company moved to withdraw it.

Upon further investigation of Papaya Mobile’s business model, it seems that the company is not so much a tech company as it is an ad agency for Facebook. In terms of intellectual property, Papaya Mobile owns 1 U.S. patent and 0 domestic patents. In addition, the company had negligible investments in research and development (R&D). This lead to questions about whether Papaya Mobile’s business operations rely on any core technologies that would deem the company worthy of a listing on the industry specific Shanghai science and tech innovation exchange.

Shanghai Stock Exchange building
Shanghai Stock Exchange building (Source: caproasia)

Originally, Papaya Mobile’s prospectus had positioned the company as one that relies on independent R&D technology for big data processing and analysis, mainly using global big data resources to provide overseas marketing services. After rounds of audits, it seems that Papaya Mobile recognized the inadequacies of its core technological innovations, and sought to remove its listing application.

Papaya Mobile helps Chinese firms in advertising overseas with their digital marketing. Much of this digital marketing initiative takes place in the form of purchasing Facebook ads. In fact, 91.99 percent of Papaya Mobile’s ad purchases were on Facebook. Ultimately, the company’s business model misled the Shanghai exchange, alleging heavy reliance on core technologies and R&D in areas like big data processing, but was actually more of a middle man for Facebook’s Asian advertising.