Published: December 22, 2021
SenseTime Group, the Chinese AI start-up, has relaunched its $767 million Hong Kong share sale.
This occurred only a week after Americans were banned from buying shares, and the listing was pulled off the market.
The listing sale postponement occurred due to the US Treasury Department putting the company on the list of “Chinese military-industrial complex companies,” banning the US citizens from investing.
Furthermore, Washington accused the company of developing facial recognition software to determine ethnicity and identify ethnic Uyghurs.
SenseTime Group denied the allegations and stated that their artificial intelligence products are meant for civilian and commercial use, not for military purposes.
They also added that Washington’s ban didn’t affect their business operations. Still, the lack of American investment could make raising funds challenging.
The shares will start trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange on December 30. SenseTime’s target is to sell 1.5 billion shares in their initial public offering for between $0.49 and $0.51. It’s expected they’ll announce the final price a week prior—on December 23.
All this occurs while tensions between Beijing and Washington are growing. Recent developments include a US Congress bill requiring companies to prove that no forced labor was used to produce goods imported from the Xinjiang region.
Furthermore, the US decided to boycott the Winter Olympics held in China by not sending diplomats stating human rights concerns.
On top of that, Chinese drone-maker DJI and seven other Chinese companies faced more restrictions from the US.