TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Ximalaya, China’s leading audio platform, announced on Thursday (Sept. 9) that it will not go ahead with plans for an initial public offering in the U.S.
As early as May, Beijing had been pressuring the company not to list in the U.S. and instead go public in Hong Kong, according to a Reuters report. The move is a part of an ongoing drive by Chinese authorities to increase control over the country’s private media and tech companies.
Last year, Ximalaya had 470 million mobile users and roughly 80 million monthly active users, giving it 62.8% of the online audio market in China. The platform also boasted 35 million overseas users.
The app, which is backed by Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent, first filed for an IPO in April as it sought to cash in on surging demand for podcasts, as more people began using the medium while at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday (Sept. 2), China announced plans to launch the country’s third stock market in Beijing with a focus on small- and medium-sized enterprises, widely understood by experts to be part of a deeper decoupling from the U.S. financial system.