Kuaishou breaks Uber’s jinx, surges 161% in IPO debut

Tencent-backed Kuaishou Technology, the operator of China’s most popular short-video service after ByteDance Ltd.’s Douyin, jumped 161% in its Hong Kong debut after a $5.4 billion initial public offering that attracted hundreds of billions of dollars of orders.

The shares closed at HK$300 after rising to as high as HK$345, compared with the IPO price of HK$115, valuing the Tencent Holdings Ltd.-backed firm at $159 billion.

The company sold shares at the top of its price range in a deal that ranks as the world’s biggest internet IPO since Uber Technologies Inc.’s $8.1 billion U.S. share sale in May 2019.

That spectacular rise confers on Kuaishou a price tag nearing TikTok’s parent ByteDance — which last sought funds at a $180 billion valuation — and ushers the nine-year-old video app into the ranks of China’s largest tech corporations.

The 161% first-day gain gives Kuaishou the second-best debut ever for an IPO over $1 billion in the world, data compiled by Bloomberg show. It joins an already long list of floats that have popped on their first day of trading in recent months amid a glut of liquidity and ultra-low interest rates.

The stellar debut will be an encouraging sign for larger rival ByteDance, which is said to be in discussions to list some of its assets in Hong Kong.