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Tencent’s China Literature $1.1bln IPO speaks volumes about value of IP in China
China Literature (阅文集团), the online reading unit of Chinese tech giant Tencent, has raised $1.1B after pricing its Hong Kong IPO at the top of its range, Bloomberg reports. The company, which Tencent has a 65.38% stake, offered 151.37 million shares globally at an indicated range of HK$48 to HK$55 each.
Following this hefty IPO, Tencent is planning another listing for its music spin-off in the near future. “It’s already fielding pitches from banks to handle an IPO for its music arm that could raise at least $1 billion next year,” the report citing people with knowledge of the matter.
China’s heated battle for online publishing broke out in 2013 when new players enter the arena poised to challenge existing incumbents. To tap the rising trend, Tencent acquired China Literature’s predecessor, Cloudary Corp., which was owned by Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd., for $730 million in 2014.
In China, a whole new industry chain surrounding online literature IPs is taking form and now involves music, games, TV dramas, and movie production. Tencent, Alibaba, and Baidu have all entered the battle to compete for the best IPs. For example, the TV version of Chinese fantasy epic Eternal Love, based on stories written by online novelist Tang Qi, became an instant hit at the beginning of this year. The film, OST, and mobile game version all thrived in the wake of this heat.
The global capital market has been responding exceedingly well to China’s tech stocks in the past few months. Both Hong Kong and the US, the two main destinations for an overseas listing of Chinese companies, have recorded sizable listings from domestic tech firms from online-only insurance service ZhongAn to small loan lending platform Qudian.