Cambricon Technologies, a Chinese maker of artificial intelligence chips that power smartphones and servers, surged more than fourfold on the first day of trading in Shanghai.
The Beijing-based chip maker, which is backed by Alibaba Group Holding, jumped by as much as 358 per cent from its initial public offering price to 295 yuan on the Star Market, on Monday. The gain narrowed to 230 per cent at the close, to 212.40 yuan.
Cambricon is the second high-profile chip maker to list on the domestic market in less than a week. Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), the nation’s biggest maker of integrated circuits, debuted on the Star Market on Thursday with gains of 202 per cent, after raising 53 billion yuan (US$7.58 billion) in China’s biggest IPO in a decade.
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The shares’ gain put Cambricon’s market capitalisation at 85 billion yuan, making it the seventh-largest company on the Star board that has 132 members now. SMIC is the biggest with a capitalisation of 587.1 billion yuan.
China has accelerated the home listings of domestic chip companies, as its confrontation against the US escalates. President Donald Trump has ordered US technology companies to stop supplying their hardware, software and services to Chinese companies on national security grounds.
Cambricon, which was founded by brothers Chen Yunji, 37, and Chen Tianshi, 35, in 2016, makes chips that are used in over 100 million smartphones and servers now. Its major clients include Huawei Technologies and Alibaba, which owns the South China Morning Post.
The two brothers, who were born to a family in the east province of Jiangxi, earned their doctorate degrees in computer science at the age of 24 before joining the Chinese Academy of Sciences as assistant researchers.
The younger Chen is now the company’s biggest holder with an almost 30 per cent stake and an investment unit of Alibaba has a 1.7 per cent interest as the No. 10 largest investor.
While Cambricon may lead China’s drive of replacing imported technologies with home-made ones, rapid increases in the research and development expenditure will erode its earnings in the coming three years, according to Yan Fan, an analyst at China Merchants Securities.
The analyst did not give a rating on the stock, citing big swings in earnings. The chip maker is expected to post a loss of 482 million yuan this year and 380 million yuan in 2021, according to the brokerage. It posted a loss of 1.18 billion yuan in 2019, according to the IPO prospectus.
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This article After SMIC’s stellar debut, Chinese AI chip maker Cambricon Technologies soars 350 per cent in Shanghai first appeared on South China Morning Post