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China’s SenseTime delays Hong Kong IPO after US blacklisting

By Mensholong Lepcha

06:37, 13 December 2021

SenseTime logo on smartphone
SenseTime was blacklisted for developing facial recognition program to identify Uyghur Muslims – Photo: Shutterstock

Chinese artificial intelligence firm SenseTime Group would postpone its $767.5m Hong Kong listing after being included in the US sanctions list last week.

SenseTime said on Monday said that it remains committed to completing its listing and would publish an amended initial public offering (IPO) prospectus soon.

On Friday, the US Department of the Treasury added 15 individuals and 10 companies to its sanctions list for their connection to human rights abuse in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, Bangladesh, Myanmar and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).

Unit developed facial recognition tech

SenseTime was identified as a “Non-SDN Chinese Military-Industrial Complex Company” after its unit developed facial recognition programs to identify Uyghur Muslims.

The inclusion of SenseTime to the “Non-SDN Chinese Military-Industrial Complex Companies List” would prevent United States citizens and companies to invest and do business with the company.

Oil - Crude

72.44 Price
-1.380% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0224%
Short position overnight fee 0.0005%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.040


2,018.38 Price
-0.550% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0200%
Short position overnight fee 0.0118%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.50


15,845.70 Price
+0.150% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0263%
Short position overnight fee 0.0041%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 1.8


0.63 Price
-0.020% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0753%
Short position overnight fee 0.0069%
Overnight fee time 22:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.01168

SenseTime had flagged, in its IPO application published in August, that one of its units, Beijing SenseTime, was added to the US blacklist in October 2019.

SenseTime to refund IPO

The company said the inclusion of its unit to the sanction list “restricts its ability to purchase or otherwise access certain goods, software and technology and may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.”

The company, which was supposed to debut on the Hong Kong stock exchange this week, said it will refund all IPO applications made in full.

Read more: AI firm SenseTime files application for Hong Kong IPO

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