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More Chinese companies are expected to go public in the US in 2018, despite a recent lull in the online lending sector amid regulatory pressure from Beijing. “We foresee the number of China listings to be materially higher in 2018, with a 25 to 30 per cent jump from 2017,” Bob McCooey, senior vice-president of Nasdaq’s Listing Services unit, told the South China Morning Post. The expected surge in Chinese initial public offerings in the US picks up from last year, when the number doubled from 2016. Seventeen Chinese companies held IPOs on Nasdaq in 2017, up from seven in 2016, according to data provided by the US exchange. Thirteen are on file to be listed.

In total, about 110 companies are listed on Nasdaq from China, including e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Limited and online shopping centre Inc. Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.

With the exception of 2012, China, Asia’s largest economy, has been the top lister of IPOs among all non-US companies in every year since 2007.

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And the appetite for US IPOs has continued to grow over the last decade as the country’s budding tech sector has matured.

Sectors that prop up a strong early 2018 pipeline include data centres, streaming businesses, education, life science, wearables and enterprise technology providers, McCooey said.

One very large Chinese company, expected to raise billions of US dollars in an IPO, is expected to go public in the first quarter, McCooey said, declining to disclose the enterprise’s name.

Among companies possibly eyeing an IPO this year, according to recent news reports, are two Chinese tech unicorns, or start-ups valued above US$1 billion: ride-sharing service provider Didi Chuxing and e-commerce website Meituan-Dianping.

“We don’t try to convince people to list outside their countries because most businesses belong locally,” McCooey said. “But companies that have a global ambition and offshore businesses are our obvious clients.”

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