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Alibaba, Tencent Join Big Names Betting on Hon Hai Arm's IPO

Xiaoqing Pi, Debby Wu
Employees of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. work along a production line in the Longhua Science and Technology Park, also known as Foxconn City, in Shenzhen, China, on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010. Foxconn Technology Group Chairman Terry Gou cut his long-term growth target for the world's largest contract manufacturer of electronics by 50 percent as demand for Apple Inc. iPhones and iPads fails to offset slowing computer sales. Photographer: Thomas Lee/

China’s largest initial public offering since 2015 has gotten the attention of the nation’s top internet companies.

Affiliates of Baidu Inc., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., known collectively as BAT, are becoming strategic investors in Foxconn Industrial Internet Co. The companies are buying 21.8 million shares each in FII’s listing at 13.77 yuan apiece, the firm said in a statement to the Shanghai stock exchange Sunday.

China’s largest tech corporations join a plethora of major names that’re buying into the smart factory unit of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Apple Inc.’s most important assembler. FII plans to raise 27.1 billion yuan ($4.3 billion) in a Shanghai listing to bankroll projects in areas from smart manufacturing to fifth-generation wireless technologies. Hon Hai’s shares rose as much as 2.5 percent in early trading in Taipei.

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Other strategic investors named in the FII statement were Central Huijin Investment Ltd.’s asset management unit, which agreed to buy 58.1 million shares. A unit of China Railway Corp. is buying 43.6 million shares, and China Life Insurance Co. is taking 34.1 million shares. The lockup period was set at three years.

Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group Co., a provider of internet services, said in a separate statement it’s also spending 300 million yuan on 21.8 million shares in FII’s IPO.

Updates with Hon Hai’s shares in the third paragraph.

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