Digital business news
By Chris Cooke | Posted on Thursday, December 2, 2021
The music division of Chinese web giant NetEase is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as a stand-alone company.
NetEase Cloud Music operator Cloud Village Inc’s initial public offering was first announced in May, but was later delayed due to a crackdown by Chinese regulators, which scrutinized the operations of Chinese tech companies much more rigorously lately.
But then, last month, a regulatory filing confirmed that the IPO would now go ahead, with Cloud Village Inc to be listed today. This filing set a target in terms of funds to be raised via the IPO of $500 million, which was down from what was originally planned. And in the end, the IPO brought in $421 million.
Reuters reported this morning: “Cloud Village raised $421 million in its IPO, with its shares priced at HK$205 each in one of Hong Kong’s first major tech listings since mid-year. NetEase sold sixteen million shares in the IPO, but the final price set was only set in the middle of the range, indicating that the deal was not swamped by demand” .
As Cloud Village has listed, NetEase founder and CEO William Ding released an open letter in which he shared the story of his company’s music service so far, while considering what’s next. Looking back, he focused on NetEase Cloud Music’s recommendation tools, social features, and independent creator community. As for the future, he spoke of greater diversity of content, greater user participation and greater support for music creators.
“What will become of NetEase Cloud Music in the future? “, did he declare. “In my opinion, it will be an audio-centric universe. Audio content is becoming increasingly diverse: music, podcasts, live streaming, karaoke, audio theatre, radio – to name a few – creating multi-faceted experiences and scenarios. Everyone can find a welcoming and comforting shelter for their soul in this audio-centric universe”.
“Going forward, our Cloud Village will include more engaging content, features and capabilities,” he continued, “converting more basic users into active participants and creators. In the past, you may have -just be used our platform to listen to music created by others. In the future, you will leave your own more creative footprints. Each of your creative contributions, big or small, will help us to further strengthen our community bond and to strengthen this intimate bond between our villagers, making NetEase Cloud Music the most engaging and interactive music community.”
And as for artist support, he added, “NetEase Cloud Music is committed to investing in our support for independent artists. For those who pursue music as their dream, we hope that you no longer have to worry about the right stage for your talent and passion, and that your family and friends no longer have to worry about you financially. We hope you will see a music industry that moves towards improving quality, raising standards and changing tastes, where we will continue to be a driving force behind these positive changes.”
Some of this echoes the sort of things Spotify boss Daniel Ek is prone to say about his vision for the future, of course, although Chinese streaming services are different in a number of ways from platforms. global, especially in terms of how users interact with services and participate more actively in music recommendations and discoveries. Which means any development at companies like NetEase Cloud Music is really worth watching.