China’s Gaming Giant NetEase Jumps Over 9% in Hong Kong Debut

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NetEase Inc. soared more than 9% at the start of its first day of trading in Hong Kong, a solid debut that bodes well for a growing line-up of Chinese tech giants seeking to list closer to home.

Shares in China’s biggest gaming company after Tencent Holdings Ltd. opened at HK$133. That’s after NetEase’s shares changed hands at a roughly 2% to 3% premium to its HK$123 listing price in the days prior.

NetEase makes its debut in Hong Kong as tensions between Washington and Beijing threaten to curtail Chinese companies’ access to U.S. capital markets, particularly after once high-flying Luckin Coffee Inc. crashed amid an accounting scandal. It’s a victory for Hong Kong, coming on the heels of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s $13 billion share sale and the passing of a national security law that critics fear could jeopardize its status as a financial hub.

No. 2 Chinese online retailer JD.com Inc. is expected to debut June 18. The twin internet giants are expected to usher in a wave of other Chinese firms who seek capital to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic and fuel longer-term expansion.

NetEase — a distant second to Tencent in the world’s largest video game market — is looking globally for the next chapter of growth, teaming up with Japan’s Studio Ghibli and investing in Canadian game creator Behaviour Interactive. After selling its cross-border e-commerce platform Kaola to Alibaba, the 22-year-old company has shifted its focus to music streaming and online learning, despite worsening competition in these areas.

The creator of popular franchises like Fantasy Westward Journey and Onmyoji reported a 14% rise in online games revenue for the coronavirus-stricken March quarter, less than half of the pace Tencent’s gaming division managed during the same period.

This article was originally posted on finance.yahoo.com/news/.

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