HSBC working on $2bn Chinese AI IPO: sources

HSBC is working on the initial public offering (IPO) of Chinese AI firm SenseTime according to sources reported by Bloomberg.

The listing of the Softbank-backed firm, thought to be China’s largest AI company, could be worth up to $2 billion according to the sources.

SenseTime, founded in Hong Kong in 2014, develops technology for facial recognition, image recognition, object detection, optical character recognition, medical image analysis, video analysis, autonomous driving, and remote sensing.

The firm was valued at $7.7 billion in a 2018 funding round.

SenseTime’s IPO is set to take place on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and will be facilitated in conjunction with Chinese investment bank China International Capital according to the sources.

Bloomberg’s sources also said the AI firm is not making use of any US banks in the listing as result of it appearing on the US Bureau of Industry and Security restricted list.

Neither HSBC nor Sensetime have issued any official comments on the reports.

The news comes after SenseTime tapped Credit Suisse’s former China head Tang Zhenyi as its new vice president.

Many Chinese technology firms have reported rapid growth in 2020 despite intense regulatory scrutiny; ByteDance, owner of video sharing app TikTok, saw its revenue grow 111 per cent to 34.3 billion for the 2020 financial year.

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