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Finance

China's Full Truck Alliance jumps 13% in Wall Street debut

Performance of 'Uber for trucks' shows stronger US appetite for Chinese tech listings

NEW YORK -- Chinese digital freight startup Full Truck Alliance ended Tuesday up 13% in its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange after raising $1.6 billion from investors, suggesting a normalizing appetite for Chinese technology listings in the U.S. following a long period of policy uncertainty.

The company's American depositary shares -- previously priced at $19 apiece, at the high end of the marketed range -- opened at $22.50 and had settled to $21.50 at the market's close.

The cargo platform, backed by Tencent Holdings and SoftBank Group, has attracted such investors as the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and Abu Dhabi-based sovereign fund Mubadala Investment, with each having agreed to purchase $100 million in shares.

Its U.S. listing is expected to be followed later this year by that of ride-hailing platform Didi Chuxing, which is holding preliminary investor meetings for what is shaping up to be a $10 billion New York initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.

The offerings also come after a tumultuous year for Chinese companies on American bourses. China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom all exited in 2021 under an executive order by former U.S. President Donald Trump.

The Trump administration had deemed the three mobile carriers as linked to the Chinese military, barring U.S. investment in such companies.

The Biden administration in early June expanded a blacklist drawn up by its predecessor. This came the month after the U.S. Department of Defense agreed to stop blacklisting Chinese consumer electronics maker Xiaomi, signaling a more targeted approach to Chinese tech companies in the Biden era.

Full Truck Alliance generated net revenue of $395.5 million and a $531.9 million net loss in 2020, according to a prospectus. It says it plans to use about 40% of the net proceeds to invest in infrastructure development and technology innovation, another 40% or so to expand service offerings, and the rest for general corporate purposes.

Competitors include Lalamove, which is known as Huolala in China and is backed by Full Truck Alliance investors Hillhouse Capital and Sequoia. Didi Chuxing has also expanded its business into freight.

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