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.