Report: Chinese makers of WeChat plan a spin-off IPO in Singapore

Steven Millward
11:23 am on Aug 13, 2013

WeChat IPO rumors

A report in today’s China Daily newspaper says that Tencent (HKG:0700), the Chinese makers of popular messaging app WeChat, is making plans to spin off WeChat and take it to an IPO in Singapore.

The China Daily article, notes Reuters, cites an unnamed source who says there’s no time-frame for the supposed shares offering. It claims the Singapore Exchange has been chosen over the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and that Tencent now has a WeChat office in Singapore to pursue this. Tencent declined to comment on the rumor.

Parent company Tencent is listed in Hong Kong where it currently has a market cap of HK$678.75 billion, which is $87.52 billion. It’s China’s largest web company.

WeChat has close to 400 million registered users, of whom just over 70 million are outside of China. While its global reach is eclipsed by social chat app rivals like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and Line, WeChat is still China’s biggest ever social media export. If the spin-off and WeChat IPO turns out to be true, it’s a sign of great confidence by Tencent that it can grow its global mobile platform to the point that it could be one of the company’s top money spinners.

Last week’s major WeChat app update added support for social gaming and mobile payments for Chinese users of the service. It was the app’s first step towards monetizing its huge user-base.

(Editing by Anh-Minh Do)


Replies
  • mike

    “WeChat has close to 400 million registered users, of whom just over 70 million are outside of China. While its global reach is eclipsed by social chat app rivals like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and Line, WeChat is still China’s biggest ever social media export”

    Financials? Anything? Selling ‘stickers’ is not gonna do it (just ask Zuck). How is this free chat app that is pissing off the phone companies making money?

  • http://nicenic.net NiceNIC

    I have only 1 question:
    Why Chinese WeChat should IPO in SG while not in mainland China or Hong Kong?

  • Cloud Yoda

    This is pure speculation. Tencent also has an office in HK, and Tencent itself is also listed in Hong Kong. There is no benefit for Tencent to list WeChat (a business without a monetization model “yet”) to list in a foreign country…unless ….investors in SG are not as smart?

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