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Office Software Company Foxit Poised to Launch Star Market IPO
COVID-19 and China
A pile of files. Image credit: Sear Greyson/Unsplash

Foxit Software (832422:NEEQ, Foxit, 福昕软件) has updated (in Chinese) IPO documents for the Star Market Listing Committee’s review on June 18, 2020. A Fujian-based software company, Foxit focuses on office document software PDF (Portable Document Format) products, ranging from PDF readers, editors and converters to file sharing functions.

Founded in 2001, the Southern-Chinese company went public on the National Equities Exchange and Quotations (NEEQ) market in 2015 and planned to transfer to the SSE Star Market to issue over 12 million new shares.

The company grew with the pace of Internet development in China, during a time when overseas companies predominated in the software market (the early 00s). During the same period, companies like Kingsoft and Qihoo360, which echoed these offshore software companies,  emerged in China and grew fast – and Foxit functions as an answer to Adobe’s PDF products.

Apparently contradicting where it was born, over 90% of Foxit’s revenue came from overseas markets. In 2019, North American and European markets contributed CNY 301 million (USD 44 million), accounting for 82% of Foxit’s total revenue.

Among the major four PDF software providers like Adobe, Nuance and Nitro, Foxit has the price advantage, given the matrix of services it can provide. However, the company’s core business relies highly on PDF-related products and it lacks an ecosystem in the vein of Adobe, Kingsoft or Microsoft Office, which would allow it to consolidate varied formats in the same environment. The company is providing SaaS-based PDF services for users and also developers. The cloud-based services may contribute to its ecosystem development and business expansion in future.

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