Aspire Global Pulls Back on US Listing Plan After New Rules in Vaping
The vaping company gave up on its plan to trade shares alongside rival RLX Technology.
Jennifer Chan
Jennifer Chan
May. 10, 2022 21:15
Aspire Global Pulls Back on US Listing Plan After New Rules in Vaping

(CapitalWatch, May 10, New York) Nearly a year after initiating the Nasdaq listing process, e-cigarette maker Aspire Global Inc. became the latest Chinese company to withdraw its IPO application amid tighter market regulations at home.

Aspire sought to trade alongside Chinese vaping giant RLX Technology Inc. (NYSE: RLX) and raise up to $135 million on the Nasdaq Global exchange. The company kicked off its IPO process last June and renewed efforts earlier this year; on Monday this week it filed a withdrawal request.

The pullback followed a tightening by Beijing of listing rules for e-cigarette companies. In late April, the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration issued new draft rules banning foreign investment in the retail of vaping products, while the producers of e-cigarettes were required to seek approval before listing overseas. The authority would also increase oversight of production capacity, as Reuters reported.

RLX Technology was lucky to have completed its initial public offering in January of 2021, before China cracked down considerably on both the vaping industry and overseas listings. RLX raised $1.4 billion in IPO priced at $12 per share; however, today it's trading near the level of $1.80 per share as the environment for Chinese stocks on Wall Street remains unstable.

Despite the curbs in 2021 leveling vaping sales with tobacco sales, RLX showed strong financials for last year. The company reported $1.3 billion in revenue, up 123% year-over-year, on net income of $318.3 million for the full year 2021. RLX prepares to release its first quarter financials on May 20.

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