Tencent Music has chosen to go public at a challenging time for tech stocks. The company began the filing process in October of 2018, but delayed due to market volatility over trade war anxieties, concerns over tech stock overvaluation, and interest rate worries. Tech IPOs also typically don't debut in December.
Despite the unsettled state of the global economy, Tencent decided to proceed with the IPO as they fear relations between China and the US will only worsen in the future. Tencent promised that so long as the G20 summit did not prove disastrous, they would proceed with the IPO on December 12. As US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached a 90-day truce, Tencent fulfilled their promise. An anonymous source explained Tencent Music's rationale: "It's not worth waiting any longer for a potentially higher valuation if they have to deal with so many uncertainties."
Had Tencent Music stuck to their $4 billion goal, they would have been the largest Chinese IPO in the US in 2018. Instead, Tencent Music ranks fourth, behind companies like video platform iQiyi
Still, Tencent Music has shown an impressive climb in valuation this year. At the start of 2018, it was valued at $12 billion, but has now climbed to $21.3 billion. Tencent Music is more profitable than Spotify and Apple Music, thanks to social interactivity options such as karaoke, live-streaming, and chat services through Tencent's WeChat platform. Tencent Music's revenue is lower than that of Spotify, or $1.3 billion compared to Spotify's $1.59 billion. Spotify and Tencent Music both participated in a share swap deal in 2017, meaning they are mutual shareholders and leaving the door open to potential future collaboration.
Unfortunately, Tencent Music's IPO has also been shadowed by allegations of fraud from an investor lawsuit. The suit, which has sought materials from IPO underwriters Deutsche Bank AG