- China's biggest podcasting platform Ximalaya announced on Thursday that it was abandoning US IPO plans.
- After Ximalaya filed for a New York IPO in April, regulators began urging the company to shift its listing to Hong Kong.
- Ximalaya may have worried regulators on account of its troves of user data.
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China's biggest podcasting platform Ximalaya announced on Thursday that it was abandoning plans to go public in America following regulatory pressure, according to Reuters.
Ximalaya filed in late April for a New York IPO, boasting 250 million monthly listeners in the first quarter of 2021 and over 160,000 podcasters in 2020, according to its SEC filing.
But regulators began urging Ximalaya to shift its listing to Hong Kong, according to a Reuters report in May, which also said the company would decide where to list "within the next two weeks."
Ximalaya - which enjoys backing from Tencent, Baidu, Sony, and others - may have worried regulators on account of its troves of user data, according to Reuters. Similar concerns motivated China's cyber regulator to knock Didi from app stores, sending the stock plunging just days after its much-vaunted IPO.
Recent months have seen regulatory pressure on industries from tech to tutoring, but China's crackdown on podcasting began in earnest in 2019 when the cyber regulator banned 26 Chinese podcasting and other audio apps, according to Quartz. At the time, it said that alleged social ailments like porn, anime and gaming culture, and "historical nihilism" were pervasive on these apps.
In 2020, a competing podcasting platform, Lizhi, debuted on the Nasdaq stock exchange. But the stock has lost nearly 66% since the IPO amid the broad tumble in Chinese shares.
Other Chinese companies that had planned IPOs are now voluntarily eyeing a move from New York to Hong Kong as uncertainty remains heightened.