China responds to CNN report on separated Uyghur families

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Chinese artificial intelligence giant SenseTime has revived its $767 million initial public offering, just days after it had delayed its public debut after being hit by another US blacklist.

SenseTime relaunched the offering Monday, with its first day of trading set for Dec. 30, according to its revised filings to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
The fundraising target remains unchanged. SenseTime still plans to sell 1.5 billion shares at a price range of HK$3.85 to HK$3.99, seeking to raise as much as $767 million. The final offer price will be set on Thursday.

    The Hong Kong-based company has already secured $512 million from cornerstone investors, including state-owned Shanghai Xuhui Capital Investment, according to Monday’s filing.

      A cornerstone investor is usually a large institutional or sovereign investor that commits in advance to purchasing a stake in an IPO.

      Earlier this month, SenseTime had delayed its IPO plans after the US Treasury Department placed the firm on a list of “Chinese military-industrial complex companies,” in which US President Joe Biden has banned Americans from investing.
      In a statement on Dec. 10, the US Treasury had said that SenseTime was sanctioned because of the role its technology plays in enabling human rights abuses against the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang — accusations that SenseTime has strongly denied.
      Before the postponement, the company was due to start trading in Hong Kong on December 17.
      In a statement on Monday, the AI company said that “due to the dynamic and evolving nature of the relevant US regulations, we have required to exclude US investors” from buying shares in the IPO.
      The US government’s move may also “negatively” impact general investor interest in its IPO, which may in turn adversely affect the liquidity and market price of its stock, it said.
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      SenseTime, which was founded in 2014 in Hong Kong, is best known for its facial recognition software.

        The move by the US Treasury Department earlier this month isn’t the first time that SenseTime has run into trouble with Washington. In 2019, the company’s Beijing subsidiary was placed on a US entity list, which barred it from buying US products or importing American technology without a special license.
        –Michelle Toh contributed to the report.
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