SenseTime shares jumped 23% after IPO opened

Zijing Fu

posted on December 31, 2021 4:05 am

SenseTime, China’s most valuable artificial intelligence company, has seen its shares jump as much as 23% from their initial public offering (IPO) price as they debuted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Thursday, according to Reuters.

SenseTime’s IPO was originally set for December 17. It briefly suspended its IPO plan after the US Treasury Department put the company on a list of “Chinese military-industrial complex companies” on December 10, banning American individuals or companies from investing in SenseTime.

In a filing submitted to Hong Kong Stock Exchange, SenseTime said it would postpone the listing "to safeguard the interests of the potential investors of the company" and allow them to "consider the potential impact of" the U.S. move on any investments.

SenseTime reopened its IPO on December 20, with an updated list of cornerstone investors, including many state-affiliated investors. SenseTime  secured $512 million from its cornerstone investors by December 20, including state-owned Shanghai Xuhui Capital Investment, Guotai Junan Securities, and others

Prior to suspending its IPO, SenseTime has gone through a bumpy road as the Beijing SenseTime subsidiary was already blacklisted by U.S. regulators in 2019, restricting SenseTime from purchasing particular U.S. technology, software, services, and goods. U.S. regulators suspected SenseTime's facial recognition product has been misused in a problematic region in China.

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