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Trip.com, Another Top Chinese Internet Company, Goes Public in Hong Kong

April 19, 2021 9:04 am

"One good thing about going public in Hong Kong (for founders of Chinese companies) is that we don't need to give up sleep to ring the bell," said James Liang, founder and chairman of Trip.com (9961.HK), the one-stop online travel services provider in China, at his company's HKEX listing ceremony, marking yet another one of the top China concept stocks going back to list in either China or Hong Kong. 

Share price opened at 281 Hong Kong Dollars. Trip.com raised about HKD8.5 billion at about HKD268, oversubscribed roughly 16 times for this secondary listing. The company's revenue was nearly cut in half due to the Covid-19 pandemic and reported a net loss of 3.2 billion RMB last year, after a relatively successful 7 billion RMB net profit back in 2019. A Spokesman for Trip.com said at the bell ringing ceremony that the company is confident that it is getting back on the track this year.

The company originally planned to offer more than 31.6 million ordinary shares of the companies altogether, priced at HKD333 at most, while its American depositary shares will continue to be listed on Nasdaq as well. The money raised in this public stock offering will be used to fund the continued expansion of the service offerings of Trip.com, a company founded 22 years ago and went public on Nasdaq back in 2003.. J.P. Morgan, CICC and Goldman Sachs are the joint sponsors of this HKEX public listing.

Since Alibaba, originally listed on the NYSE, went public back in Hong Kong in 2019, more than a dozen Chinese companies that had their fair share of fanfare of US IPOs went back for a secondary Hong Kong listing amid the increasing US-China tension and heightened scrutiny of US regulators in the securities, trade, and defense sector. NYSE originally decided to comply with former US President Donald Trump's executive order to delist three US-listed Chinese telecom carriers, one of the previous administration's very last political actions against China, but reverted on the decision 4 days after. 

Baidu, and Bilibili are among the most watched Chinese internet companies that went back in 2021 from the US to list in Hong Kong, a financial and political enclave of China.