NetEase restarts Hong Kong IPO of music streaming business Cloud Village

The logo of internet technology company Netease is seen at the China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference, also known as ChinaJoy, in Shanghai
FILE PHOTO: The logo of internet technology company Netease is seen at the China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference, also known as ChinaJoy, in Shanghai, China July 30, 2021. Picture taken July 30, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song

November 16, 2021

By Scott Murdoch

HONG KONG (Reuters) – NetEase Inc has re-started the Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) of its music streaming business Cloud Village, company filings showed on Tuesday, a deal two sources said is aimed at raising about $500 million by year-end.

The flotation was shelved in August as global financial markets reacted to the range of Chinese regulatory tightenings ordered after the Didi Global Inc IPO in the US.

NetEase blamed volatile trading in China’s major tech companies for tempering investors’ appetite for the deal at the time, sources said.

Cloud Village Inc restarted the process of becoming listed in a refreshed filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Tuesday, without specifying a deal size or timetable.

NetEase had planned to raise $1 billion in the August transaction, sources said at the time. It now hopes to raise about $500 million, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, though the final figure has yet to be determined.

The company hopes to have a listing before the end of 2021, depending on market conditions, the two sources said. They declined to be named as the information has yet to be made public.

NetEase did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

Cloud Village is considered the closest rival to Tencent’s popular music streaming service, which dominates the mainland Chinese market.

Alibaba Group Holdings, Baidu Inc, General Atlantic and Boyu Capital are Cloud Village investors, according to the firm’s listing documents.

NetEase’s U.S. listed stock has traded 16% higher so far in 2021.

(Reporting by Scott Murdoch; Editing by Jan Harvey)