SenseTime Relaunches $767 Million Hong Kong IPO After US Investment Ban | Technology News


HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese artificial intelligence start-up SenseTime Group relaunched its $767 million IPO in Hong Kong on Monday, a week after the company delisted after being included on a blacklist of US investments. .

SenseTime maintained its target of selling 1.5 billion shares for between HK$3.85 and $3.99 each, according to regulatory filings, with the final price to be set on Thursday.

However, it will now depend on cornerstone investors to buy about $511 million, or about 67%, in stock, versus $450 million or 58% previously in stock.

SenseTime said its inclusion on the US blacklist did not impose any restrictions on its business, but added that the resulting lack of US investors could hinder its ability to raise capital in the future and reduce trading liquidity.

The US Treasury added SenseTime to a list of “Chinese military-industrial complex companies” on Dec. 10, accusing it of developing a facial recognition program to determine a target’s ethnicity, with a focus on identifying ethnic Uyghurs.

UN experts and human rights organizations estimate that more than a million people, mostly Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities, have been detained in recent years in a massive system of camps in China’s far western region of Xinjiang.

Some foreign lawmakers and parliaments have labeled the treatment of Uyghurs as genocide, citing evidence of forced sterilizations and deaths in the camps. China denies these claims, saying that Uyghur population growth is above the national average.

“Our group’s products and services are intended for civilian and commercial use and not for any military use,” SenseTime said in the revised documents on Monday.

The company previously said it “strongly opposed” the designation of the blacklist and that the allegations against it were baseless.

Shares of SenseTime will start trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on December 30.

($1 = 7,8021 Hong Kong dollars)

(Reporting by Scott Murdoch; editing by Jane Wardell)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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