Chinese Firm SenseTime Postpones Hong Kong IPO in Wake of US Blacklisting

On Monday, Chinese AI startup SenseTime announced at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) that its initial public offering (IPO) will be delayed, and that the company expects to publish a supplemental prospectus, which amends and adds to the existing prospectus, together with an updated listing timetable, according to the relevant procedures for applications for Hong Kong Offer Shares and other relevant information. “The company remains committed to completing the global offering and listing soon,” it said in the filing.

Chinese online broker Futu Securities said that it received a notice from the HKEx that SenseTime suspended its listing. Futu Securities decided to refund all fees, interest and costs to retail investors who subscribed to the IPO. All related costs will be borne by Futu. A further announcement will be made regarding how and when the fees will be refunded.

Earlier, the Financial Times reported that the U.S. Treasury added SenseTime to a list of “Chinese military-industrial complex companies” on December 10. If the news is true, this is the second time that the U.S. government has implemented measures to suppress SenseTime after the relevant companies in SenseTime were listed by the U.S. in 2019.

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Subsequently, on December 11, SenseTime issued a statement strongly opposing its having been added to the list of so-called “Chinese military-industrial complex companies.” “We strongly oppose the designation and accusations that have been made in connection with it. The accusations are unfounded and reflect a fundamental misperception of our Company. We regret to have been caught in the middle of geopolitical tension.”