Chinese Animation Platform Bilibili Eyeing U.S. IPO (Report)

Bilibili, the leading Chinese website for the streaming of Japanese anime, is planning a share listing on a U.S. stock exchange, according to Bloomberg News. Citing unnamed sources, the report said that the listing could come as early as next year and raise $200 million.

As is typical of Chinese streaming services, Bilibili provides content via both ad-supported and paid models. While Japanese anime is its mainstay, Bilibili also carries Chinese animated films and user-generated content.

The company acquired Chinese streaming rights to last year’s Japanese animated hit “Your Name” and is reported to have acquired more Japanese animation than any other site, including the top three video platforms iQIYI, Tencent Video and Youku Tudou. It claims to have been an investor in some 20 Japanese titles in the past two years.

Bloomberg says that share offerings in the U.S. by Chinese firms are rebounding after dropping in 2016, and that four of the five over $100 million have seen their shares rise above the launch price. That may reflect improving American investor sentiment toward Chinese equities. These were hit by multiple short-selling attacks on Chinese companies and continuing suggestions that Chinese companies have duped overseas investors with false profit statements and vastly inflated portrayals of the scale of their businesses.

Baidu-owned iQIYI has indicated that it will seek a U.S. share listing with a possible value of $8 billion. Moving in the opposite direction, STX Entertainment is looking at a listing in Hong Kong.

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