Chinese facial recognition unicorn Megvii prepares China IPO – TechCrunch

Megwi, one of China’s largest facial recognition startups, is set for an initial public offering in Shanghai. The company is working with CITIC Securities to prepare its planned listing Declaration China Securities Regulatory Commission posted on Tuesday.

The move comes more than a year after Megvi, known for its computer vision platform Face ++. Is filed to the public In Hong Kong in August 2019. At the time, Reuters Reported The company can raise between $ 500 million and $ 1 billion. However, the firm’s IPO application in Hong Kong has been scrapped for unknown reasons and its focus is now on Shanghai’s Star Board, a person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.

In 2019, China established the STAR board Attracting high-growth, unprofitable Chinese tech startups After losing them to America for the year. Meanwhile, domestic flotation is booming for Chinese tech firms, particularly those that rely on government contracts and are caught in the US-China tech competition.

Megvi and its rivals SenseTime, Yitu, and CloudWalk are collectively recognized as China’s “Four AI Dragons” for their market dominance and wealth from high investors. Megawi’s technology can be found in smart city infrastructure across China as well as many smartphones and mobile apps. Alibaba, Ant Group and Bank of China are among the group of investors who have considered it $ 1.4 billion In a ten year old company since its inception.

AI dragons are less celebrated outside their domestic market. Last year, Megavi, Yittu and Sensetime Added to US Entity List For their perceived roles in enabling widespread surveillance of Muslim minority groups in western China. CloudWalk was later added to the blacklist in 2020 and cut from its US suppliers.

According to the notice posted by the Security Authority of China, Megvi plans to issue Chinese Depository Receipts (CDRs), Which are similar to US depository receipts and allow domestic investors to hold foreign shares. It suggests Beijing-based A unicorn There is no denying the listing outside of mainland China.

Currently receiving guidance in the pre-application phase, Megawi’s planned list still requires approval from Chinese regulators.