Chinese authorities have reportedly pressured podcast and audio app Ximalaya to drop plans for an initial U.S. public offering and register in Hong Kong instead, as they seek to tighten their grip on technology companies.
Ximalaya had applied to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange at the end of April, according to Reuters, who first reported on Beijing’s lobbying campaign. Regulators, including the Cyberspace Administration of China, have urged the company to withdraw its plans and move the IPO venue to Hong Kong.
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Founded in 2012, Ximalaya has more than 200 million monthly active users, according to its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Investors include Tencent Holdings and a subsidiary of the Sony group, Reuters reported.
The SEC has started tightening listing rules to allow U.S. regulators to review the finances of Chinese companies listed in the U.S., a move that worries Beijing.
The Hong Kong listing incentive may also be aimed at helping China in its own efforts to strengthen oversight of its tech companies amid growing concerns over consumer data privacy. The government recently imposed stricter regulations on internet giants such as Tencent and Alibaba Group Holding.
This article first appeared on Nikkei Asia. It is reposted here as part of the ongoing 36Kr program partnership with Nikkei.