Chinese vape company RLX is worth nearly $ 35 billion on its US market debut

(Reuters) – US depositary shares of RLX Technology Inc jumped 86% in their debut in the US stock market on Friday, giving the Chinese vaping company a market capitalization of nearly $ 35 billion.

RLX shares opened at $ 22.34, well above the initial public offering (IPO) price of $ 12 per share. Shares were up 58% in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Beijing-based company offered 116.5 million shares in its IPO, raising $ 1.4 billion, after previously setting a price range of $ 8 to $ 10 per share.

RLX’s debut comes at a time of greater scrutiny of Chinese listings from the United States government. Former US President Donald Trump signed legislation last month to remove Chinese companies that do not adhere to US auditing standards.

Chinese companies raised $ 13.5 billion in US IPOs in 2020, up from $ 3.5 billion the previous year.

Founded in 2018, the company sells vaping products under the RELX brand and is led by Kate Wang, the former head of Uber Technologies Inc.’s China operations.

RLX reported net income of 108.6 million yuan ($ 16.76 million) on net revenue of 2.2 billion yuan ($ 339.45 million) for the nine months ending September 30, 2020, according to a statement.

($ 1 = 6.4810 Chinese renminbi yuan)

Reportage by Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.