Last year, Chinese tech giants such as smartphone maker Xiaomi and on-demand services app Meituan Dianping hogged the global IPO spotlight with some of the world’s biggest initial public offerings. But this year, few blockbuster China tech IPOs are in the pipeline, and Silicon Valley is retaking center stage as startup unicorns such as Uber prepare to go public.
The market for Chinese IPOs has been hit by an economic slowdown that’s weighing on corporate growth, along with a stricter regulatory environment and stock drops at some of the companies that grabbed headlines when they went public last year. The IPO slump is happening even though China is home to some of the world’s most valuable private tech companies, including Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing and media and entertainment startup ByteDance, which are valued at $150 billion, $56 billion and $75 billion, respectively. While bankers have discussed IPOs with those companies, investors and others familiar with the matter say none of them have definite plans to go public.