King & Wood Mallesons, Clifford Chance and Skadden topped $ 4 billion tech announcements in Hong Kong

King & Wood Mallesons, Clifford Chance, offshore company AMS Law and US firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed advise Hong Kong-based artificial intelligence (AI) firm SenseTime on its $ 2 billion initial public offering (IPO) dollars on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. .

Founded by a group of professors from local universities, SenseTime is developing AI technology used in autonomous driving, augmented reality, medical imaging and facial recognition.

SenseTime’s IPO to be launched as part of an ongoing consultation led by the Chinese regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), on its plan to impose cybersecurity reviews on Chinese companies seeking to be listed. in Hong Kong for national security reasons.

The consultation will end on December 13, so an IPO before the end of this year will put SenseTime ahead of any implementation of the CAC’s proposed regulations.

King & Wood advises SenseTime on Chinese law, Clifford Chance provides legal advice in Hong Kong and the United States, AMS Law advises on legal matters relating to the Cayman Islands and Hughes Hubbard advises the company on legal matters American export control.

In 2017, Clifford Chance also advised SenseTime on its $ 410 million Series B preferred share investments with private equity funds and institutional investors including CDH Investments, Sailing Capital and China International Capital Corporation (CICC). .

The underwriters of SenseTime’s IPO — CICC, Haitong International Securities Group, and Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Group — are advised by Beijing-based law firms Slaughter and May and Zhong Lun.

Listing activity in Hong Kong slowed sharply in the third quarter with just $ 6.2 billion raised, the lowest amount since the start of the pandemic.

To increase its appeal, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange recently announced that it will soon lower the capitalization qualification – from HK $ 40 billion ($ 5.1 billion) to HK $ 3 billion ($ 385 million) – to enable small businesses to raise funds through secondary listings.

The announcement coincides with the resumption of stock market deposits from the Weibo microblogging platform and NetEase-backed music streaming site Cloud Village. Together, the two tech companies aim to raise around $ 1 billion through their Hong Kong listings.

Both issuers had been mulling over Hong Kong listings since the start of the year, but had put their plans on hold due to uncertainties over Beijing’s new data regulations.

Weibo and Cloud Village are advised by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Julie Gao, Paloma Wang, and Yuting Wu from Skadden advise Weibo. Wang and Gao are also at the head of the Cloud Village deal.

Dubbed China’s Twitter, Weibo sells 11 million shares for $ 547.3 million. The firm is also advised by Beijing-based TransAsia Lawyers.

Cloud Village provides online karaoke, live streaming and lyrics sharing services to its users, and generates revenue through subscriptions, virtual gifts and advertising. The company has raised $ 422 million and its shares will begin trading on December 2.

JunHe Law Offices and Maples and Calder also advise Cloud Village.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Chinese firm Jingtian & Gongcheng advise underwriters including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Citic Securities and CICC.

The Freshfields team is led by Hong Kong partners Teresa Ko, Richard Wang and Calvin Lai.