The unicorns must be groaning in pain after the latest tax change. With a vigilant taxman knocking on their doors, small merchants may abandon the specialist e-commerce marketplaces.
The basic problem is that too much capital is chasing after too few startups, something even China’s State Council is starting to realize.
China is in another listing drought, two years after the IPO floodgates were reopened. So far this year, just 80 companies got the nod.
Unlike Go-Jek, the Singapore company doesn’t have a coveted e-money license issued by the central bank. Grab now partners with OVO, Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group’s e-wallet, meaning it must cede some control over user experience and technology.
Hong Kong’s IPO window is closing fast, as evidenced by dwindling liquidity and the narrowing investor base. HK’s most recent tech IPOs have languished, with many below their offering prices.
The only viable way for the Chinese to make money in Indonesia is perhaps through industry consolidation. After all, Indonesia has already seen some high-profile mergers, such as Grab’s takeover of Uber’s entire Southeast Asian business this year.
Seeing the VC world running dry, China’s unicorns are scrambling to find sugar daddies in the public markets.
The U.S. pipeline of Chinese IPOs has been light since President Donald Trump started making noises about tariffs in early March. The only billion-dollar offering is the pending sale by e-commerce site Pinduoduo, for which an American listing makes sense because it competes directly with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and JD.com Inc., which already trade there.
Vietnam has better liquidity than the Philippines.
SoftBank is looking to IPO its domestic telecom unit and is offering to pay bondholders who agree to a covenant change that would make it easier to list it.