The Tencent Holdings Ltd. building stands in the Nanshan district in Shenzhen, China (Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg)

Tencent-Backed News Site Qutoutiao Files to Go Public in U.S.

(Bloomberg) -- Qutoutiao Inc., the Chinese news and video aggregation app backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., filed for a U.S. initial public offering, saying it had an almost seven-fold increase in revenue for the first half of the year as losses also grew.

The Shanghai-based company listed its offering size as $300 million in its filing Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The amount may be a placeholder and could change.

Qutoutiao, whose name means “fun headlines,” has about 17.1 million daily active users who spend about 56 minutes on the app daily, according to the filing. Monthly active users total about 48.8 million.

The company’s net revenue for the first half of 2018 jumped to $108.5 million, from $16.2 million from the same period a year earlier. As it focused on growing its user base and improving services, the company’s net losses mounted, rising to $77.7 million for the first six months of 2018 from $4.3 million a year earlier, according to the filing.

Qutoutiao said it plans to use the IPO proceeds to expand and enhance its content and improve its products, as well as for marketing and general corporate purposes including potential acquisitions.

Because of Tencent’s investment in March, Qutoutiao said it expects to cooperate more closely with the Chinese e-commerce giant in various areas. Tencent tumbled on Thursday after reporting its first profit drop in a decade as Chinese authorities froze approval of digital games the company needs to make money.

Qutoutiao intends to list on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol QTT, according to the filing. Citigroup Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG are leading the offering.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.