Meituan-Dianping, the Tencent-backed online food review and delivery company, got off to a reasonable start on its trading debut in Hong Kong, delivering some respite to a local stock market that is showing signs of strain and losing its faith in a clutch of mega tech floats.
The trading debut makes the mainland company the fourth-largest tech firm in terms of market capitalization, next only to the tech triumvirate of Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, collectively known as "BAT".
Meituan-Dianping shares opened high at HK$72.90 ($9.29) on Thursday, more than 5.65 percent above its offering price of HK$69 and extending the performance on Wednesday when the company's shares ended grey market trading 3.62 percent higher at HK$71.50.
The Beijing-based company ended its trading debut 5.29 percent higher at HK$72.65, after touching a low of HK$72 and briefly peaking at HK$74 in the morning session.
Meituan Chairman and CEO Wang Xing expressed his gratitude to the company's 531,000 delivery workers who help the company establish its dominance in mainland's $1.3 trillion food delivery and online services industry.
The serial entrepreneur who founded Meituan eight years also thanked Steve Jobs, the quintessential entrepreneur and late iconic co-founder of Apple whose creativity and innovation made it technologically possible for Meituan's "one-stop" app that offers a broad range of local services from food delivery, restaurant reviews, group-buying deals and movie ticketing to hotel and travel bookings.
"Without the iPhone and the internet, there would be no us today," Wang told a listing ceremony at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Thursday.
Meituan-Dianping, coupled with mainland's news aggregator Toutiao and ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing, are seen by industry insiders and analysts as the trio of tech superstars who can take the baton from "BAT".
The so-called "TMD" is regarded the up-and-coming standard-bearer for Chinese corporations seeking to become global players and leaders in technology.
Meituan's trading debut, coming at a delicate time when escalating Sino-US trade tensions cast a shadow over stock market and the flagship Hang Seng Index has technically entered a bear market, turned out to contribute to one-tenth of total trading volume on the local stock market on Thursday.