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Tencent-Backed Tuhu to Move Planned U.S. IPO to Hong Kong

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(Bloomberg) -- A Chinese online car-services platform backed by investors including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. is shifting its proposed initial public offering to Hong Kong from the U.S., people with knowledge of the matter said.

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The startup, which is formally known as Shanghai Lantu Information Technology Holding Ltd., is working with China International Capital Corp. and Goldman Sachs on the offering that could raise $300 million to $400 million this year, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

Deliberations are ongoing, and details such as timing and size could change, the people said. Representatives for Tuhu said they weren’t aware of a listing plan. Goldman Sachs and CICC declined to comment.

Tuhu joins a slew of Chinese companies that are choosing to list in the Asian financial hub instead of the U.S. after Beijing cracked down on overseas listings over data security concerns and American regulators started pushing for better risk disclosures. Lalamove, a logistics firm, and Meicai, which connects restaurants with vegetable producers, are among those rerouting their IPOs to Hong Kong, Bloomberg News has reported.

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Started in Shanghai in 2011, Tuhu has become one of the major players in China’s highly fragmented automotive after-market sector. Its online platform offers services such as tire and battery replacement, as well as refurbishment, according to its website. In an interview last year, founder Chen Min expected 2021 revenue to jump at least 50% from 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in the previous 12 months.

Tuhu raised $450 million in 2018 in a funding round led by investors including Tencent, Carlyle Group Inc. and Sequoia Capital, according to a company statement. It also counts Baidu Inc. among its early backers. The company was seeking a valuation of $4 billion earlier this year, Bloomberg News reported at the time.

(Updates with revenue expectation in fifth paragraph.)

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