Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA) Backed AI Startup Sales Triple Enroute to IPO
Megvii Technology Ltd. for the first time revealed the stunning growth fueled by a nation’s obsession with security.
The Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.-backed startup tripled revenue to 949 million yuan ($133 million) in the first half. It generated more than 73% of those sales from AI services for major clients like government agencies, hospitals and real estate developers, the company said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Seven-year-old Megvii is said to be angling to raise as much as $1 billion in its initial public offering, becoming the first of China’s fast-rising AI stars to debut and beating Sensetime Group Ltd. to the punch. Its share sale however will run up against a host of uncertainties from violent pro-democracy protests that’ve gripped Hong Kong to the Trump administration’s increasingly aggressive campaign to contain China’s tech champions.
Megvii is moving forward even as other companies pump the brakes on their Hong Kong listing ambitions, wary of the turmoil. Its fundraising will further Beijing’s effort to lead the sector by 2030. That’s in turn prompting the Trump administration to sound the alarm about investment into Chinese technology.
Megvii generates the bulk of its revenue from products that combine software and sensors to help government agencies and other clients enhance public safety and optimize traffic management. Sales from that business, which it labeled “city IoT solutions,” jumped 270% to 694.8 million yuan in 2019’s first six months. Megvii said it served 112 cities in China, 38% of the country’s total, as of June. It posted 5.2 billion yuan in losses for the first half, while adjusted profit reached 32.7 million yuan.
‘IPOs‘ have been pretty disappointing in the past few months, but since AI is a hot category at the moment it could gain more traction,” said Mark Tanner, founder of Shanghai-based research and marketing company China Skinny.
Read more: China AI Startup Files for Hong Kong IPO Despite Protests
The filing kicked off the formal process for an IPO, though it could be months before Megvii’s actual debut. The offering faces particular challenges. Washington has upped its rhetoric about inspection of investment into Chinese technology, which may erode the interest of U.S. money managers in the country’s AI startups.
In a list of risk factors, Megvii warned of possible economic and trade restrictions similar to curbs imposed on Huawei Technologies Co. Should that happen, it would prevent the company from procuring technology, and impair its ability to develop solutions. The company stressed that it’s made sure it’s compliant with relevant restrictions, while making contingency plans to minimize the negative impact of potential curbs.
Read more: Trump Aides Say He Has Power to Force Companies From China (2)
Megvii also warned that sanctions on sales of American technology to Huawei may roil industries from consumer electronics to telecommunications. “Prolonged restrictions against Huawei could cause a turmoil to all such industries, which may in turn materially and adversely affect our business,” it said.
Megvii also sells face-scanning systems to companies from iPhone-maker Foxconn Technology Group to Lenovo Group Ltd. and Ant Financial, the payments affiliate that supports Alibaba’s e-commerce business. The company generated 207.2 million yuan from the segment it dubs “personal IoT solutions,” or 21.8% of its revenue. Its third major business line, solutions for logistics that deploy AI-empowered robots and sensors, made up some 5% of revenue.
Megvii counts Alibaba and its financial affiliate Ant Financial and Lenovo Group Ltd. as strategic investors. Alibaba indirectly held 14.3% of its shares, while Ant Financial indirectly held 15.1%.
Overall, the bias in prices is: Downwards.
Note: this chart shows extraordinary price action to the downside.
The projected upper bound is: 213.39.
The projected lower bound is: 178.81.
The projected closing price is: 196.10.
A white body occurred (because prices closed higher than they opened).
During the past 10 bars, there have been 7 white candles and 3 black candles for a net of 4 white candles. During the past 50 bars, there have been 32 white candles and 18 black candles for a net of 14 white candles.
A rising window occurred (where the top of the previous shadow is below the bottom of the current shadow). This usually implies a continuation of a bullish trend. There have been 6 rising windows in the last 50 candles–this makes the current rising window even more bullish.
Momentum is a general term used to describe the speed at which prices move over a given time period. Generally, changes in momentum tend to lead to changes in prices. This expert shows the current values of four popular momentum indicators.
One method of interpreting the Stochastic Oscillator is looking for overbought areas (above 80) and oversold areas (below 20). The Stochastic Oscillator is 49.0507. This is not an overbought or oversold reading. The last signal was a sell 4 period(s) ago.
Relative Strength Index (RSI)
The RSI shows overbought (above 70) and oversold (below 30) areas. The current value of the RSI is 51.91. This is not a topping or bottoming area. A buy or sell signal is generated when the RSI moves out of an overbought/oversold area. The last signal was a sell 56 period(s) ago.
Commodity Channel Index (CCI)
The CCI shows overbought (above 100) and oversold (below -100) areas. The current value of the CCI is 118.This is an overbought reading. However, a signal isn’t generated until the indicator crosses below 100. The last signal was a sell 3 period(s) ago.
The Moving Average Convergence/Divergence indicator (MACD) gives signals when it crosses its 9 period signal line. The last signal was a buy 7 period(s) ago.
Rex Takasugi – TD Profile
ALIBABA GRP ADR closed up 9.340 at 196.450. Volume was 35% below average (neutral) and Bollinger Bands were 3% wider than normal.
Open High Low Close Volume___
194.740 196.880 192.700 196.450 2,685,901
Short Term: Neutral
Intermediate Term: Bearish
Long Term: Bullish
Moving Averages: 10-period 50-period 200-period
Close: 190.40 203.11 188.59
Volatility: 56 56 41
Volume: 3,404,574 4,283,749 3,547,979
Short-term traders should pay closer attention to buy/sell arrows while intermediate/long-term traders should place greater emphasis on the Bullish or Bearish trend reflected in the lower ribbon.
ALIBABA GRP ADR gapped up today (bullish) on normal volume. Possibility of a Runaway Gap which usually signifies a continuation of the trend. Four types of price gaps exist – Common, Breakaway, Runaway, and Exhaustion. Gaps acts as support/resistance.
ALIBABA GRP ADR is currently 4.2% above its 200-period moving average and is in an downward trend. Volatility is high as compared to the average volatility over the last 10 periods. Our volume indicators reflect volume flowing into and out of BABA.N at a relatively equal pace (neutral). Our trend forecasting oscillators are currently bearish on BABA.N and have had this outlook for the last 49 periods.
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