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Women's Shopping Platform Meili Files for $500 Million U.S. IPO

The Tencent-backed e-commerce company confidentially filed for an initial public offering in New York last week.

Lucas Hahn
    Jul 23, 2018 3:58 PM  PT
Women's Shopping Platform Meili Files for $500 Million U.S. IPO


A social e-commerce platform selling women's fashion products, Meili Inc., has confidentially filed for an initial public offering in New York late last week.

If successful, the IPO could raise up to $500 million for the company, according to Caixin Global news agency.

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Users of Meili can browse for products, share images, and shop. The site has been compared to Pinterest, a U.S. photo-sharing platform which is moving into e-commerce.

Meili was formed in January 2016 by a merger of two Chinese social commerce platforms focused on women' fashion, Meilishuo ("beauty talk") and Mogujie ("mushroom street").

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The latter was founded in 2010 by Qi Chen, who previously worked at China's largest e-commerce company, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA). Chen is now serving as the chief executive officer of Meili, based in Hangzhou.

The Hong Kong-listed Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. holds a 15 percent stake in Meili.

Tencent has been aggressively expanding its presence in e-commerce. The giant holds a 20 percent stake in JD.com Inc. (Nasdaq: JD), a rival to Alibaba. Last year, Tencent and JD invested in Vipshop Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: VIPS), another fashion retailer.

More recently, Tencent has backed Pinduoduo, the social discount marketplace which filed last week for a U.S. IPO.

According to an earlier report by Reuters, Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) will lead the Meili listing, with Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE: CS) and China Renaissance also taking part.


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