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Pricey Purchase Plan for Popular WeChat Account Draws Regulator Scrutiny

By Shi Rui and Han Wei / Apr 02, 2019 02:31 AM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

The Shenzhen Stock Exchange demanded that an online education company disclose more about its eye-popping plan to pay 1.5 billion yuan ($223 million) to acquire a popular WeChat account.

The regulator listed 29 questions on the business operation of the target asset and the buyer’s financing plan and financial facts, requiring a reply by April 5.

Shenzhen-listed Qtone Education Group raised market eyebrows in late March with a plan to make a share-for-share acquisition of “Wu Xiaobo Channel,” a WeChat account focusing on business analysis and opinion articles managed by Hangzhou Bajiuling Culture and Innovation — which is controlled by finance journalist Wu Xiaobo and his wife Shao Bingbing.

The inquiry reflects regulators’ caution over mergers and acquisitions of assets in new-media formats.

The Wu Xiaobo Channel has more than 2 million followers and was valued at 2 billion yuan in a financing round in 2017. The account makes money from several WeChat-related routes: advertising, subscriptions, and even online finance courses.

Related: Popular WeChat Account Valued at 2 Billion Yuan Snapped Up By Education Firm

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