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NetEase’s Music App Revives Delayed Hong Kong IPO Plan

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(Bloomberg) -- The music streaming arm of Chinese gaming giant NetEase Inc. is reviving its plans for an initial public offering in Hong Kong after it put the listing on hold earlier this year.

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Cloud Village Inc. refiled a preliminary prospectus to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Tuesday.

The unit could seek to raise about $500 million in an offering as soon as this year, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified as the information is private. Cloud Village had been pursuing an IPO of about $1 billion, Bloomberg News reported in May.

Cloud Village had decided in August to delay the IPO just days after it began gauging investor demand.

A representative for NetEase didn’t respond to requests for comment on the listing size.

Cloud Village runs NetEase’s music streaming platform in China and generates most of its revenue through subscriptions, virtual gifting and advertising. Started in 2013, the music wing has since expanded its products to offer everything from online karaoke to live-streaming and lyrics sharing.

The unit grew its monthly music users to 185 million in the first six months of 2021, according to the preliminary prospectus. Revenue rose 61% to 3.2 billion yuan ($501 million) for the six months ended June, while net loss more than tripled to 3.8 billion yuan for the same period.

The company is still deep in the red in part because of costs stemming from its fierce rivalry with Tencent Music Entertainment Group. Cloud Village said in the prospectus that it has been negotiating deals with a number of music labels, after antitrust regulators in July ordered Tencent to give up its exclusive licensing agreements with big record companies.

Cloud Village’s prospectus offered a lengthy analysis of the potential risks of China’s new rules on data security and internet privacy. The company said it hasn’t been involved in any investigation, nor has it received any inquiry or notice in relation to a draft new rule that would require Hong Kong IPO candidates to undergo a cybersecurity review if the data they amassed could impact national security.

Bank of America Corp., China International Capital Corp. and Credit Suisse Group AG are acting as joint sponsors for the offering.

(Updates with exchange filing details from seventh paragraph.)

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