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Avoiding coronavirus, Wuhan food company becomes first to go public with online listing ceremony

All listing ceremonies at the Shanghai Stock Exchange are required to wait or go online.

Source: tuchong.stock.com

Wuhan-based snack brand Liangpin Puzi (known as Bestore in English) became the first company in China to go public on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) with an online listing ceremony on Monday. Due to the coronavirus, public gatherings are discouraged as a measure to contain the illness.

The company livestreamed the 13-minute ceremony, which featured a short speech by the company chairman Yang Hongchun and other investors, a countdown, and a digital gongstriking animation.

Bestore's livestreamed listing
SSE held its first-ever livestream listing ceremony on Feb 24, in response to the coronavirus crisis.  Source: screenshot from livestream event, available at the SSE official website.

“Since Wuhan has been locked down, Liangpin has donated more than 60 batches of food products to frontline medical staff in the city,” said Yang during the speech.

At press time, the firm’s stock price has jumped by 44% to RMB 17.14 (USD 2.44), valuing the snack company at RMB 6.9 billion.

Liangpin Puzi, backed by investing firms including Capital Today and Hillhouse Capital Group, was established in Wuhan in August 2016. The firm owns more than 2,300 brick-and-mortar shops across the country and popular online stores on Alibaba’s Taobao marketplace, JD.com, and other e-commerce platforms.

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Between Feb. 4 and Feb. 21, 13 companies have been listed at the SSE exchange, according to a board announcement. Companies going public during this time can either wait to hold the ceremony after the epidemic, or do an online ceremony.

The company announced the approval of its IPO last November and has gone public under the code SH603719.

This year, the market volume of China’s booming snack industry is predicted to reach RMB 3 trillion (USD 427 billion), according to a report from China’s Ministry of Commerce.