Chinese e-learning company Youdao files for U.S. IPO

(Reuters) - Youdao Inc, an e-learning unit of Chinese internet technology company NetEase Inc NTES.O, filed for an initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.

The company, which intends to list under the symbol “DAO” on the New York Stock Exchange, set a placeholder amount of $300 million to indicate the size of the IPO, a filing with the regulator showed.

The move comes at a time when U.S. exchanges are taking a closer look at Chinese IPOs.

Reuters reported on Sunday that Nasdaq Inc NDAQ.O was cracking down on initial public offerings of small Chinese companies by tightening restrictions and slowing down their approval.

The New York Stock Exchange, operated by Intercontinental Exchange Inc ICE.N, is also looking closely at Chinese listings, according to the Reuters' report.

Chinese companies have raised over 70 billion in the U.S. stock market since 2000, according to Refinitiv data.

While the biggest ones, such as e-commerce giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA.N, Pingduoduo Inc PDD.O and Inc JD.O, have attracted major U.S. stock market investors, many small ones have proved unpopular as their shares are thinly traded following their IPOs.

Bloomberg reported earlier this year that NetEase planned to launch an IPO of Youdao in July. (

Youdao’s net revenue rose 67.7% to RMB548.5 million ($79.9 million) for the six months ended June 30, but its losses doubled to RMB167.9 million during the same period.

Founded in 2006, Youdao provides online dictionaries, online classrooms and language courses, with 100 million monthly average users in China in the first half of 2019.

Earlier in the day, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro rebuffed reports that the Trump administration was considering delisting Chinese firms from U.S. stock exchanges, boosting shares of U.S.-listed Chinese firms.

NetEase shares were up nearly 2% at $265.54 in afternoon trading.

Reporting by Neha Malara in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva