Mon. Aug 26th, 2019

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iQiyi: 'China's Netflix' shares dip in US stock debut

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100209232 9f9a87b5 471f 4a80 8605 bb36c0b69df7 - iQiyi: 'China's Netflix' shares dip in US stock debut

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Shares in Chinese video streaming service iQiyi – often called China’s Netflix – had a rocky start in their US stock market listing.

The stock opened at $18.20 on the Nasdaq, slightly ahead of the $18 listing price, but quickly fell back – closing down 14%.

But iQiyi chief executive Gong Yu said he was not concerned about the “short term volatility”.

The firm is majority owned by Chinese internet search giant Baidu.

iQiyi raised more than $2.2bn (£1.6bn) through the initial public offering (IPO) – giving the streaming service a valuation of $12.7bn.

Despite the initial stock price fall, Mr Gong was confident about the firm’s future prospects.

“Long term, you’ll see how much value the IPO creates,” he told the Reuters news agency.

Not profitable

iQiYi had more than 50 million subscribers by the end of 2017 and an average of more than 420 million mobile users per month, according to Reuters.

But while revenues have risen in recent years, iQiyi has never posted a profit since it launched in 2010.

In China, it competes with fellow streaming platforms Youku Tudou, which is owned by Alibaba, and Tencent Video.

In April 2017, iQiyi signed a licensing agreement with Netflix to steam some of the US provider’s original content including Stranger Things and Black Mirror.

Last year, iQiyi posted a net loss of 3.7bn yuan (£425m; $592m) compared with 3.1bn yuan in 2016, though revenue jumped by 55% to 17.4bn yuan.

Baidu, which founded the business as Qiyi before later changing its name to iQiyi, is itself listed in the US.

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