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China’s AI firm SenseTime relaunches its $767 million Hong Kong IPO

China’s AI firm SenseTime relaunches its $767 million Hong Kong IPO

SenseTime Group, an artificial intelligence startup based in China, has reportedly relaunched its previously cancelled $767 million Hong Kong IPO listing. The news arrives just a week after the company's listing was unceremoniously pulled back as Americans were effectively banned from making investment in it.

SenseTime has been accused by the United States Government of creating a face recognition software that can ascertain people's ethnicity, with a particular focusing on identifying indigenous Uyghurs.

On December 30, the SenseTime shares are scheduled to begin trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

As per regulatory documents, SenseTime has maintained its goal of selling 1.5 billion shares in an initial public offering for around HK$3.85 ($0.49) and $HK3.99 ($0.51) each. Supposedly, the final price will be announced this week on Thursday.

Last week, the scheduled offering was delayed after the US Treasury Department added SenseTime to a list of ‘Chinese military-industrial complex enterprises’, which prohibits Americans from investing in certain businesses.

SenseTime stated that its services and products are meant for domestic as well as commercial usage and not for any other military application, reiterating its dismissal of the US government's accusations.

The company further added that though Washington's investment prohibition has had no impact on the firm's operations, the lack of U.S. investors could limit its capacity to acquire capital.

The IPO launch comes amid escalating tensions between the United States and China. Last week, the US Congress enacted a bill requiring businesses to certify that items bought from China's Xinjiang province were not made using forced labor.

Last Monday, the US levied further limitations on another Chinese corporation, DJI, a drone manufacturer, along with seven other Chinese firms.

The firms were placed on an investment ban list by the Treasury Department, making it illegal for US residents to buy or sell their shares.

Earlier this month, the United States stated that it will not assign diplomats to Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics, expressing worries over China's human rights record.

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Sunil Jha

Sunil Jha has been a part of the content industry for close to two years. Having previously worked as a voice over artist and sportswriter, he now focuses on writing articles for, across a slew of topics, ranging from technology to trade and finance. With a business-oriented educational background, Sunil brings forth the expertise of deep-dive research and a strategic approach in his write ups.