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China’s SenseTime Hong Kong IPO is in limbo after the US blacklist

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The SenseTime artificial intelligence (AI) startup logo is seen in its Hong Kong (China) office on August 18, 2021. REUTERS / Tyrone Siu

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s artificial intelligence startup SenseTime Group is considering whether to move forward with a $ 767 billion initial public offering in Hong Kong after the U.S. added it to a blacklist of investments, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.

Sources said on Saturday that the company had not yet made a final decision on whether or not to move forward with the list, and one added that if it went ahead it would consider reporting additional risks.

A SenseTime spokesperson declined to comment on the IPO changes.

SenseTim lost its IPO pricing date on Friday after the media reported that a blacklist was near.

The appointment was later confirmed on Friday when the U.S. Treasury Department added SenseTime to its list of “China’s military-industrial complex companies,” including China, Myanmar, and North Korea. and Bangladesh.

The Treasury Department has accused SenseTime of developing facial recognition programs that can determine the ethnicity of a target, with a particular focus on identifying ethnic Uighurs.

SenseTime said in a statement on Saturday that it had acted “against allegations and accusations made in connection with the stone”, calling the allegations unfounded.

Adding SenseTim to the U.S. blacklist would prohibit U.S.-based investors from buying its shares.

SenseTim expected to sell $ 1.5 billion worth of shares for HK $ 3.85 to HK $ 3.99 in IPO. He was due to set a final price on Friday and allocate shares to institutional investors, according to company documents.

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