×

China’s iQIYI Takes Further Step Toward IPO (Report)

Chinese video streaming giant iQIYI is edging nearer to an IPO in the U.S. The company could seek to raise $1 billion of fresh capital.

International Financing Review, part of Thomson Reuters, said Tuesday that the company had confidentially filed documents for the share sale. iQIYI declined to comment when contacted by Variety.

The report is in line with earlier details which emerged late last year. In September, Bloomberg reported that the company was seeking an $8-10 billion value on flotation. In October, IFR said that iQIYI had retained Bank of America, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs to advise on the listing.

Roughly 80% owned by NASDAQ-listed Baidu, China’s leading search-engine group, iQIYI operates a mixture of ad-supported and subscription services. It had 481 million monthly active users at the end of 2016, and is believed to have since increased its paying subscriber base to more than 60 million since then.

The company has been loss-making as it carved out market position and as it invested heavily in a mixture of original and acquired content. In 2017, iQIYI raised $1.3 billion from backers including Hillhouse Capital, IDG and Sequoia Capital for ongoing content spend.

Among the three streaming leaders in China, iQIYI has been forecast by JP Morgan to become the first to move into profitability, possibly as early as this year. But at this point its valuation remains a guesstimate. In 2016 iQIYI’s founder, Gong Yu, and Baidu co-founder Robin Li together tried to take the company private and buy the company from Baidu. Their $2.8-billion offer was challenged by U.S. investors and quickly withdrawn.

There are also question marks over the appetite of U.S. investors for Chinese companies. Several hundred have listed in the U.S., but many have lost support. Some have de-listed in the U.S. and then relisted on exchanges either in Hong Kong or in mainland China.

More Biz

  • Alan Horn Bill Tanner

    Alan Horn to Keynote Variety Business Managers Elite Breakfast, Bill Tanner to Be Honored

    Bill Tanner will be recognized with Variety’s 2019 Business Managers Elite Award at the annual Business Managers Elite Breakfast presented by City National Bank, which takes place in Beverly Hills on Nov. 13. Co-chairman and chief creative officer of The Walt Disney Studios Alan Horn will be the keynote speaker in conversation with Variety editor-in-chief, [...]

  • Smoke haze covers the Sydney Harbour

    Australia's Seven West to Merge With Affiliate Prime Media

    Australia’s Seven West Media has agreed a deal to acquire regional broadcast group Prime Media. The move is a further step in the consolidation of Australia’s traditional media industry. The two companies announced on Friday that Seven will make the acquisition entirely through the issue of new shares to the owners of Prime. Both companies [...]

  • Ron Meyer

    Ron Meyer Files $10 Million Suit Over Forged Rothko

    NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer has filed a $10 million suit against two art dealers, claiming they sold him a forged Mark Rothko painting in 2001. Meyer accuses Susan Seidel and Jaime Frankfort of duping him into buying the work. According to the suit, he was told that it would be included in an official [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Harvey Weinstein Seeks to Call Expert on 'Recovered' Memories at Rape Trial

    Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys are seeking to call an expert on “recovered memories” at his trial on rape and sexual assault charges. The defense has filed a motion asking to call Deborah Davis, a psychologist and professor at the University of Nevada at Reno. Davis is a frequent defense witness. She co-authored an article in 2006 [...]

  • Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime

    Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime and Rolling Stone

    Showtime Documentary Films today announced a new limited docuseries profiling controversial rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine. Titled “SuperVillain” and inspired by the Rolling Stone feature written by Stephen Witt, the three-part series will trace how a New York City deli clerk named Daniel Hernandez became superstar rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine — who racked up 2.6 billion streams and [...]

  • Fader Label Logo

    Fader Label Signs Two New Acts, Boosts Staff

    The Fader Label, home to Clairo, Matt and Kim and others, announced two new signings today along with three new hires on its staff. Charlie Burg and Zachary Knowles have joined the label’s talent roster, while Carson Oberg has come aboard as general manager, Yasmine Panah as project manager and Josh Hymowitz as label coordinator. They [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content