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China tech

When unicorns lose their magic: Royole shows steep path for China IPOs

Startups cancel listings in face of crushing competition from big players

Royole CEO Bill Liu speaks during the 2019 Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong. The Chinese tech company's fortunes have waned since it unveiled its foldable-screen phone. (Imaginechina via AP Images)

GUANGZHOU -- The Chinese startup that debuted the "world's first commercial foldable smartphone" in 2018 drew a different kind of attention in April when one of its directors, Liu Shuwei, issued a statement on social media simply titled "Rescue Royole."

"I suggest that the government actively help Royole with its shortage of funds and help Royole bring in strategic investors," Liu wrote.

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