Megvii to refile for lapsed blockbuster biometrics IPO in Hong Kong by end of March

Megvii to refile for lapsed blockbuster biometrics IPO in Hong Kong by end of March

Although currently still on a U.S. blacklist, biometrics unicorn Megvii is refiling for the Hong Kong IPO, writes Reuters, after the six-month time frame of its application ends next week.

In its IPO, Megvii had planned to raise anywhere between $500 million and $1 billion. In January, the AI company received a green light from the stock exchange for $500 million Hong Kong IPO, but the initial application was allowed to lapse in part due to the coronavirus epidemic which has affected business in China, according to the report. Even though the current application will lapse, Megvii will refile once it updates the financial data for 2019.

In October, Megvii was included on a U.S. blacklist among 27 other Chinese organizations which blocked it from buying American products, having them in their supply chain, or maintaining relations with U.S. companies.

Megvii pushed ahead with IPO plans, as it strongly objected to the U.S. government’s decision and accusations that its facial recognition technology had been used in activities associated with human rights violations in the Xinjiang region of China.

Once Megvii finalizes its financial data for 2019, it plans to immediately refile for the IPO, but an anonymous source tells Reuters that the company’s auditor, Deloitte, has been slowed by the coronavirus outbreak. A source said that the company is expecting the audit to be completed by the end of March, and may be able to refile during the month.

Both Megvii and Deloitte declined to comment to Reuters.

Amid the coronavirus epidemic, Megvii has developed a system that integrates thermal cameras for temperature detection and body and facial-image data to locate the subject’s forehead.

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