China’s SenseTime postpones US$767 million IPO in Hong Kong after US ban

SenseTime’s logo is seen during the 2021 China Content Media Network Expo at the China International Exhibition Center on May 29, 2021 in Beijing, China.

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Chinese artificial intelligence startup SenseTime Group postponed its HK$767 million initial public offering (IPO) on Monday after being placed on an investment blacklist. of America.

SenseTime said it remains committed to completing the offering and will publish an additional prospectus and an updated listing timetable.

Reuters first reported earlier on Monday the company’s plans to withdraw the offering and updated its prospectus to include the potential impact of the US investment ban, with the aim of relaunching. IPO process.

SenseTime planned to sell 1.5 billion shares at prices ranging from HK$3.85 to HK$3.99, according to its regulatory filing. That figure would grow to $767 million, a number that was slashed earlier this year from a $2 billion goal.

However, instead of setting the listing price on Friday as it was supposed to, it entered into emergency talks with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and lawyers about the future of the deal amid reports. blacklist reports are issued.

Sensetime did not provide details on a timetable for the revised IPO in its filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Monday.

The company said it will refund all subscription monies in full without interest to all registrants who subscribed to the company’s shares during the offering.

The US Treasury Department added SenseTime to its list of “Chinese military-industrial complex companies”, accusing it of developing facial recognition programs that could identify a target’s ethnicity. , with a particular focus on identifying the Uighur ethnicity.

UN experts and human rights groups estimate more than a million people, mostly Uighurs and members of other Muslim minorities, have been detained in recent years in an extensive camp system in the remote Xinjiang region of China.

China denies abuses in Xinjiang, but the US government and many human rights groups say Beijing is committing genocide there.

SenseTime said in a statement Saturday that it “strongly opposes the designation and the allegations made in connection with it,” calling the allegations “baseless.”


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