Megvii advances approval request for blockbuster biometric IPO in Hong Kong
Despite being placed on the U.S. government blacklist for its biometric facial recognition platform Face++, alongside other Chinese technology developers accused of assisting the government in a human rights violations operation, artificial intelligence startup Megvii is still interested in listing with the Hong Kong IPO for at least $500 million, Reuters reports.
In October, Megvii IPO sponsor Goldman Sachs announced it was reconsidering its role in the public listing, following the U.S. government’s Entity List. Megvii did not comment on Goldman Sachs Group’s statement, but said it “strongly objects” and that a previously report released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) accusing it of similar actions was deemed incorrect and the company’s name was cleared.
Earlier in November, Megvii insisted it was not delaying its IPO plans.
Reuters claims sources have said the company is seeking listing approval this Thursday, after industry news had already revealed the listing was planned for the fourth quarter with a possible raise of $1 billion.
“Receiving the approval would give Megvii flexibility to launch the deal whenever it sees a window. But the deal itself could be a hard sell as many U.S. investors would probably shun it, as long as the company is on the blacklist,” people close to the business told Reuters.
Megvii provides AI technology to governments and companies including Alibaba, Ant Financial, Lenovo Group and Huawei. Alibaba Group is one of the investors in the company.