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Full Truck speeds to $24-bn value, clears way for Chinese US IPOs
NYSE is the venue of choice for overseas listings by Chinese firms. File photo: Reuters.

China’s “Uber for trucks” delivers an impressive IPO in New York, setting the scene for Didi and other firms to list

(AF) Full Truck Alliance, the Chinese company dubbed the “Uber for trucks”, performed strongly with a rise of more than 18% in its debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday June 22, giving the startup a valuation of over $24 billion in the biggest US stock market listing for a Chinese company this year.

The company joins a host of Chinese startups listing in New York as the liquidity on offer in the US continues to outweigh political concerns and attempts by Asian exchanges to attract listings.

American Depositary Shares (ADS) of the company, each of which represent 20 Class A ordinary shares, opened at $22.50 in a premium to their offer price of $19.

High-profile early investors including SoftBank’s Vision Fund and Tencent Holdings will benefit from the listing of FTA, which runs a mobile app that connects truck drivers to people that need to ship items within China.

Popularly called Manbang in its home market, FTA raised nearly $1.6 billion by offering 82.5 million ADSs in its IPO, which was priced at the upper end of a previously announced range.

Didi could raise $10 billion

That amount is expected to be dwarfed by China’s largest ride-hailing company, Didi Chuxing, which could raise up to $10 billion in its mammoth share sale planned for the coming months which could give the company – a more accurately dubbed Uber of Asia – a value of around $100 billion.

FTA will also raise a total of $200 million from Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board by selling Class A ordinary shares.

The company was formed in 2017 from a merger between Chinese digital freight platforms Yunmanman and Huochebang. It is led by Peter Zhang, a former executive of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Morgan Stanley, CICC and Goldman Sachs were the lead underwriters for FTA’s offering.

Didi Chuxing isn’t the only Chinese firm hoping to follow in the path of FTA, RLX Technology and Kanzhun with a listing in New York this year.

The firms that backed two of China’s most popular internet live-streaming influencers are reportedly also looking to list in the US.

Meione and Qianxun are both expected to try to launch shares in the US if market conditions are suitable.

The live-streaming e-commerce market in China has seen impressive growth in recent years but remains susceptible to the perceived value of individual influencers.

Ruhhn Holding, the first firm of this type to go public, saw its value collapse after a scandal involving its top influencer and a senior executive from Alibaba, one of its financial backers.

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Jon Macaskill

Jon Macaskill has over 25 years experience covering financial markets from New York and London. He won the State Street press award for 'Best Editorial Comment' in 2016

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