Baidu Considers Secondary Listing in Hong Kong
Following Alibaba’s historic secondary listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange, other Chinese tech giants including Baidu are considering a similar strategy, according to The latest IPO.
The Hong Kong stock exchange amended their listing regulations in 2018 to allow dual listings. Since the alteration in policy, the city’s international capital markets reputation has been bolstered. According to data from PricewaterhouseCoopers, Hong Kong ranked first in global IPOs raising a total of $40.5 billion in 2019, up 10% from the previous year.
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Baidu listed on NASDAQ in 2005, and following Google’s withdrawal from China in 2010, the company enjoyed a stranglehold on the search engine sector in China. However, given the recent widespread transition to mobile internet, Baidu is facing fierce competition for online ad revenue from the likes of ByteDance, and Kuaishou.
In 2019, Baidu experienced its first loss as a public company. Revenue in the first quarter of 2019 was 24.1 billion Chinese yuan, a year-on-year increase of 15%, but the current net loss was 327 million yuan. The main reasons for the poorer performance were increases in user acquisition costs, sales and marketing expenses, combined with slowing advertising revenue caused by China’s broader macroeconomic slowdown.
Baidu was recently surpassed by Meituan Dianping as the third largest internet company in China. While Baidu has focused its strategy on artificial intelligence, including autonomous driving the company may require a capital injection to compete in the short-term.