Jet Li-Endorsed Game Developer Said to Weigh Hong Kong IPO

Suzhou Snail Digital Technology Co., the Chinese designer of online games including one endorsed by movie star Jet Li, is considering an initial public offering in Hong Kong, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The company, also known as Snail Game, is in the process of selecting investment banks to manage the offering, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The sale may raise as much as $100 million next year, one of the people said.

Founded in Suzhou city in 2000, Snail Game was the first Chinese company to develop 3D online games, according to its website. “Age of Wushu”, which is promoted by Li under an agreement with the company, was released last year in China and the U.S. Wushu is a Chinese term for martial arts, and Li features as a wushu master in a commercial for the game.

Shenzhen Dong Fang Bo Ya Technology Co., a Chinese developer of online and mobile games, is also planning an IPO in Hong Kong, two other people said today. The company may raise as much as $150 million in the third quarter, they said. The company, known as Boyaa Interactive, develops social games such as poker and mahjong games, according to its website.

In October 2007, NetDragon Websoft Inc. raised $210 million in Hong Kong’s last IPO of an online gaming company. The company yesterday said it will sell its controlling stake in app store 91 Wireless to Baidu Inc. for $1.09 billion.

Forgame Tech Co., a Guangzhou-based designer of online games, is planning an IPO of at least $100 million in Hong Kong, two people with knowledge of the matter said on July 10.

Officials at Snail Game were not available to comment on the IPO, a person who answered the phone at its Suzhou headquarters said. Calls to Boyaa Interactive’s Shenzhen headquarters weren’t answered.

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