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IPO

TikTok rival Kuaishou takes market cap crown among new IPOs

Chinese names take nine of top 10 spots in Asia, with Coupang sole exception

Beijing-based Kuaishou leads among recent IPOs in market value despite withering competition from ByteDance's Douyin. (Source photos by AP)    © AP

TOKYO/PALO ALTO, U.S. -- Chinese viral video platform Kuaishou Technology ranks as the most valuable company that listed in the past year, with a market capitalization of roughly $110 billion despite a 30% drop since its initial public offering, Nikkei research shows.

That makes Kuaishou more valuable than Airbnb, which leads newly listed U.S. and European companies at around $92 billion. Data warehousing provider Snowflake, online game platform Roblox and food delivery service DoorDash also trail the TikTok rival.

Nikkei's analysis covers IPOs from June 2020 to May 2021, including so-called SPAC listings through special purpose acquisition companies. The rankings are based on market capitalizations as of June 11.

Kuaishou has 295.3 million daily active users, expanding during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. The company reached a value of $158 billion during its February listing in Hong Kong.

The short-form video platform faces tough competition at home. Unlisted rival ByteDance, whose IPO outlook has been closely watched, boasts 600 million daily active users on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok. Kuaishou reported a 57.7 billion yuan ($9 billion) net loss for the first quarter, worse than the 30.4 billion yuan in red ink a year earlier.

Newly listed Chinese companies dominate the market cap ranking for Asia, with leading South Korean e-commerce company Coupang the only exception among the top 10.

With a market cap of around $66 billion, New York Stock Exchange-listed Coupang is chasing far more established South Korean names like Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix. Coupang derives its strength from delivering orders within 24 hours from its network of over 170 distribution centers in the country.

Yet Coupang faces its own profitability challenge. The company's net loss in the first quarter deepened from a year earlier. As of June 11, Coupang's market value had plunged 21% from its March stock market debut.

The pandemic has created space for online service providers to expand. Chinese online real estate broker KE Holdings lets potential buyers take virtual reality tours of homes. Roughly 49,000 real estate businesses use KE's tools. Since listing in New York in August, KE's market value was up more than 35% to $56 billion as of June 11, putting the company fifth in the Asian ranking.

New York-listed Chinese electric vehicle startup Xiaopeng Motors, or Xpeng, ranks ninth with $31 billion. The company aims to have a flying car on the market between 2023 and 2025.

The likes of Kuaishou and Coupang dwarf Japan's new IPO crowd. The most valuable Japanese company to list in the past year, staffing services provider Visional, comes in at only around $2.2 billion.

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