424(B)(4)
Table of Contents

Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(4)
Registration No. 333-199996

 

PROSPECTUS

16,000,000 American Depositary Shares

 

LOGO

Momo Inc.

REPRESENTING 32,000,000 CLASS A ORDINARY SHARES

 

 

Momo Inc. is offering 16,000,000 American depositary shares, or ADSs. Each ADS represents two Class A ordinary shares, par value US$0.0001 per share. This is our initial public offering and no public market currently exists for our ADSs or shares.

 

 

We are an “emerging growth company” under applicable U.S. federal securities laws and are eligible for reduced public company reporting requirements.

 

 

Our ADSs have been approved for listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “MOMO.”

 

 

Investing in the ADSs involves risks. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 14.

 

 

PRICE US$13.50 AN ADS

 

 

 

     Price to public      Underwriting
Discounts
and
Commissions
     Proceeds
before
expenses
to Company
 

Per ADS

   US$ 13.50       US$ 0.945       US$ 12.555   

Total

   US$ 216,000,000       US$ 15,120,000       US$ 200,880,000   

We have granted the underwriters the right to purchase up to 2,400,000 additional ADSs to cover over-allotments within 30 days after the date of this prospectus.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and state securities regulators have not approved or disapproved of these securities, or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

Following the completion of this offering, our outstanding share capital will consist of Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares. Yan Tang, our co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer, will beneficially own all of our issued Class B ordinary shares and will be able to exercise 78.0% of the total voting power of our issued and outstanding share capital immediately following the completion of this offering assuming the underwriters do not exercise their over-allotment option to purchase additional ADSs. Holders of Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares have the same rights except for voting and conversion rights. Each Class A ordinary share is entitled to one vote, and each Class B ordinary share is entitled to ten votes and is convertible into one Class A ordinary share. Class A ordinary shares are not convertible into Class B ordinary shares under any circumstances.

The underwriters expect to deliver the ADSs to purchasers on December 16, 2014.

 

 

 

MORGAN STANLEY   CREDIT SUISSE     J.P. MORGAN     CHINA RENAISSANCE

 

 

December 10, 2014


Table of Contents

 

LOGO

 


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

     Page  

Prospectus Summary

     1   

Risk Factors

     14   

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

     47   

Use of Proceeds

     48   

Dividend Policy

     49   

Capitalization

     50   

Dilution

     52   

Enforceability of Civil Liabilities

     54   

Corporate History and Structure

     56   

Selected Consolidated Financial Data

     60   

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

     63   

Industry

     89   

Business

     93   

Regulation

     111   
     Page  

Management

     123   

Principal Shareholders

     133   

Related Party Transactions

     138   

Description of Share Capital

     139   

Description of American Depositary Shares

     151   

Shares Eligible for Future Sales

     161   

Taxation

     164   

Underwriting

     171   

Expenses Related to This Offering

     177   

Legal Matters

     178   

Experts

     179   

Where You Can Find Additional Information

     180   

Index to Consolidated Financial Statements

     F-1   

Index to Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements

     F-1   
 

No dealer, salesperson or other person is authorized to give any information or to represent anything not contained in this prospectus or in any free writing prospectus we may authorize to be delivered or made available to you. You must not rely on any unauthorized information or representations. This prospectus is an offer to sell only the ADSs offered hereby, but only under circumstances and in jurisdictions where it is lawful to do so. The information contained in this prospectus is current only as of its date.

Neither we nor any of the underwriters has done anything that would permit this offering or possession or distribution of this prospectus or any filed free writing prospectus in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required, other than in the United States. Persons outside the United States who come into possession of this prospectus or any filed free writing prospectus must inform themselves about, and observe any restrictions relating to, the offering of the ADSs and the distribution of this prospectus or any filed free writing prospectus outside of the United States.

Until January 4, 2015 (the 25th day after the date of this prospectus), all dealers that buy, sell or trade ADSs, whether or not participating in this offering, may be required to deliver a prospectus. This is in addition to the obligation of dealers to deliver a prospectus when acting as underwriters and with respect to their unsold allotments or subscriptions.

 

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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

The following summary is qualified in its entirety by, and should be read in conjunction with, the more detailed information and financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. In addition to this summary, we urge you to read the entire prospectus carefully, especially the risks of investing in our ADSs discussed under “Risk Factors,” before deciding whether to buy our ADSs. In addition, this prospectus contains information from a report prepared by Analysys International, a third-party market research firm, or the Analysys Report. The Analysys Report was commissioned by us to provide information on the mobile social networking market in China.

Our Business

Momo connects people in a personal and lively way.

Momo is a revolutionary mobile-based social networking platform. We enable users to establish and expand social relationships based on location and interests. Our platform includes our Momo mobile application and a variety of related features, functionalities, tools and services that we provide to users, customers and platform partners. We have established Momo as one of China’s leading mobile social networking platforms in less than three years since our inception.

Momo has become an integral part of the daily lives of many people in China, where the increasing proliferation of smartphones and network enhancement allow more people to be connected anytime and anywhere. With powerful and precise location-based features, we enable our users to connect with each other and expand relationships from online to offline, thereby making their social networking experience more real, personal and multi-dimensional.

We aim to offer our users an authentic social experience by encouraging them to provide detailed personal information on Momo. Leveraging our social interest graph engine and our analysis of user behavior data, we are able to provide users a customized experience based on their social preferences and needs. Momo users can maintain and strengthen their relationships through our private and group communication tools, content creation and sharing functions, as well as the offline social activities promoted on our platform.

Our user base has grown rapidly since we launched Momo in August 2011, as evidenced by the following:

 

    We had 180.3 million registered users as of September 30, 2014, representing an increase of 160.8% from September 30, 2013.

 

    Our monthly active users, or MAUs, reached 60.2 million in September 2014, representing an increase of 112.8% from September 2013.

 

    Our average daily active users, or DAUs, reached 25.5 million in September 2014, representing an increase of 140.6% from September 2013.

 

    We had 2.3 million members as of September 30, 2014, representing an increase of 659.9% from as of September 30, 2013.

 

    Our users sent a daily average of 655.2 million one-to-one messages, representing a daily average of 26 one-to-one messages per DAU, in September 2014; 63.5% of these messages were exchanged among people who had already followed each other.

Our large, growing and engaged user base creates powerful network effects and a high barrier to entry.

Amid the fast evolving mobile internet market in China, we have focused on building and growing our user base and improving user experience. Our Momo mobile application is free of charge. We began to generate revenues in July 2013 from our membership subscription package, which provides members with additional

 

 

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functions and privileges. We generated 68.1% of our net revenues from membership subscription fees in the nine months ended September 30, 2014. We also began to generate revenues from mobile games, paid emoticons and mobile marketing services in the second half of 2013. We believe our large, engaged user base makes Momo attractive to mobile marketing customers and our platform partners. Our revenues increased significantly from US$0.8 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2013 to US$26.2 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2014. We had net losses of US$3.8 million, US$9.3 million and US$22.9 million in 2012, 2013 and the nine months ended September 30, 2014, respectively.

Our Industry

The mobile internet population in China has grown substantially due to rapid technological development, network enhancement and increasing affordability of smartphones. According to eMarketer, a third-party market research firm, the number of mobile internet users in China grew from 375.6 million in 2011 to 556.1 million in 2013, representing a compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, of 21.7%, and is expected to further increase to 712.4 million in 2017.

With the recent further development of the mobile internet, mobile social networking applications began to proliferate in China. As social networking applications started to integrate with the advanced features of smartphones in 2011, they underwent a transformation with more diverse content offerings in various formats, such as voice and video. In 2012, location-based services began to gain popularity in China. These developments have led to the rapid development of new mobile social networking applications based on location and interests, including Momo.

In China, mobile games and mobile marketing are common monetization methods for mobile social networking platforms. According to Analysys, the mobile game market in China has expanded rapidly and reached a total market size of RMB13.9 billion (US$2.3 billion) in 2013. The market is expected to further grow at a CAGR of 39.6% to RMB52.8 billion (US$8.7 billion) in 2017. In addition, according to Analysys, the size of the mobile marketing market in China reached RMB13.4 billion (US$2.2 billion) in 2013, and is expected to further grow at a CAGR of 69.5% to RMB110.8 billion (US$18.3 billion) in 2017. Location-based mobile applications allow mobile marketing customers to target specific audiences or geographic regions, thus improving the effectiveness of marketing.

Our Strengths

We believe our success to date is largely attributable to the following key competitive strengths:

 

    a leading mobile-based social networking platform in China;

 

    innovative location-based social networking platform;

 

    high user engagement powered by a variety of functionalities;

 

    superior user experience supported by strong technology capabilities; and

 

    visionary and experienced management team.

Our Strategies

We believe that we have significant opportunities to further enhance the value we deliver to our users, customers and platform partners. We intend to pursue the following growth strategies:

 

    expand our user community;

 

    enhance our user experience;

 

 

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    increase monetization capabilities; and

 

    pursue strategic partnerships and acquisitions.

Our Challenges

Our ability to execute our growth strategies is subject to risks and uncertainties, including those relating to our ability to:

 

    maintain and grow our user base and enhance user engagement;

 

    market and profit from our service offerings, continue to monetize our user base, convert our existing users into paying users and achieve profitability;

 

    adapt to the dynamic social networking market despite our short operating history;

 

    maintain brand awareness and loyalty, prevent misuse of our platform and maintain our brand image and reputation;

 

    compete effectively for users or user engagement;

 

    keep up with technological developments and evolving user expectations;

 

    effectively manage our growth and control our costs and expenses; and

 

    address privacy concerns relating to our services and the use of user information.

In addition, we face risks and uncertainties related to our compliance with applicable PRC regulations and policies, particularly those risks and uncertainties associated with our control over Beijing Momo Technology Co., Ltd., or Beijing Momo, and its subsidiary, which is based on contractual arrangements rather than equity ownership.

Please see “Risk Factors” and other information included in this prospectus for a detailed discussion of the above and other challenges and risks.

Corporate History and Structure

We are a holding company incorporated in the Cayman Islands. We conduct our business through our subsidiary and our consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary in China. We started our operations in July 2011 when our founders established our consolidated affiliated entity Beijing Momo in China. In order to facilitate foreign investment in our company, we incorporated our holding company under the name of Momo Technology Company Limited in the British Virgin Islands in November 2011. In July 2014, Momo Technology Company Limited was redomiciled in the Cayman Islands as an exempted company registered under the laws of the Cayman Islands, and was renamed Momo Inc. In December 2011, we established Momo Technology HK Company Limited, or Momo HK, a wholly owned subsidiary, in Hong Kong. Subsequently, Momo HK established a wholly-owned PRC subsidiary, Beijing Momo Information Technology Co., Ltd., or Beijing Momo IT, in March 2012. In May 2013, we established Chengdu Momo Technology Co., Ltd., or Chengdu Momo, as a wholly owned subsidiary of Beijing Momo. In addition, we recently formed a Delaware subsidiary, which is currently conducting market research and new product development.

PRC laws and regulations place certain restrictions on foreign investment in and ownership of internet-based businesses. Accordingly, we conduct our operations in China principally through Beijing Momo and its subsidiary, Chengdu Momo, over which we exercise effective control through contractual arrangements among Beijing Momo IT, Beijing Momo and its shareholders.

 

 

 

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The following diagram illustrates our corporate structure, including our principal subsidiaries and consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary, as of the date of this prospectus:

 

LOGO

 

Note:
(1) We exercise effective control over Beijing Momo through contractual arrangements among Beijing Momo IT, Beijing Momo and Messrs. Yan Tang, Yong Li, Xiaoliang Lei and Zhiwei Li, who hold 72.0%, 16.0%, 6.4% and 5.6% of the equity interest in Beijing Momo, respectively. The shareholders of Beijing Momo are shareholders, directors or officers of Momo Inc.

Corporate Information

Our principal executive offices are located at 20th Floor, Block B, Tower 2, Wangjing SOHO, No.1 Futongdong Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100102, People’s Republic of China. Our telephone number at this address is +86-10-5731-0567. Our registered office in the Cayman Islands is located at P.O. Box 309, Ugland House, Grand Cayman KY1-1104, Cayman Islands.

Investors should submit any inquiries to the address and telephone number of our principal executive offices. Our main website is www.immomo.com. The information contained on our website is not a part of this prospectus. Our agent for service of process in the United States is Law Debenture Corporate Services Inc., located at 400 Madison Avenue 4th Floor, New York, New York 10017.

Implications of Being an Emerging Growth Company

As a company with less than US$1.0 billion in revenue for the last fiscal year, we qualify as an “emerging growth company” pursuant to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act. As such, we may take advantage of specified reduced reporting and other requirements that are otherwise applicable generally to public companies. These provisions include exemption from the auditor attestation requirement under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or Section 404, in the assessment of our internal control over financial reporting. Under the JOBS Act we also do not need to comply with any new or revised financial accounting standards until the date that private companies are required to do so. However, we have elected to “opt out” of this provision and, as a result, we will comply with new or revised accounting standards as required when they are adopted for public companies. This decision to opt out of the extended transition period under the JOBS Act is irrevocable.

 

 

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We will remain an emerging growth company until the earliest of (i) the last day of our fiscal year during which we have total annual gross revenues of at least US$1.0 billion; (ii) the last day of our fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of completion of this offering; (iii) the date on which we have, during the previous three year period, issued more than US$1.0 billion in non-convertible debt; or (iv) the date on which we are deemed to be a “large accelerated filer” under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, which would occur if the market value of our ADSs that are held by non-affiliates exceeds US$700 million as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter. Once we cease to be an emerging growth company, we will not be entitled to the exemptions provided in the JOBS Act discussed above.

Conventions that Apply to this Prospectus

Unless otherwise indicated or the context otherwise requires, references in this prospectus to:

 

    “China” or the “PRC” refers to the People’s Republic of China, excluding, for the purposes of this prospectus only, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan;

 

    “Momo Inc.,” “we,” “us,” “our company” and “our” refer to our holding company Momo Inc., its subsidiaries and its consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary;

 

    “ordinary shares” prior to the completion of this offering refers to our ordinary shares of par value US$0.0001 per share, and upon and after the completion of this offering refers to our Class A and Class B ordinary shares, par value US$0.0001 per share;

 

    “RMB” and “Renminbi” refer to the legal currency of China; and

 

    “US$,” “U.S. dollars,” “$” and “dollars” refer to the legal currency of the United States.

Our reporting and functional currency is U.S. dollar. This prospectus contains translations of certain foreign currency amounts into U.S. dollars for the convenience of the reader. Unless otherwise stated, all translations of Renminbi into U.S. dollars were made at the rate at the end of the applicable period, that is, RMB6.0537 to US$1.00, the noon buying rate on December 31, 2013, or RMB6.1380 to US$1.00, the noon buying rate on September 30, 2014, in each case as set forth in the H.10 statistical release of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board. We make no representation that the Renminbi or U.S. dollar amounts referred to in this prospectus could have been or could be converted into U.S. dollars or Renminbi, as the case may be, at any particular rate or at all. On December 5, 2014, the noon buying rate for Renminbi was RMB6.1497 to US$1.00.

Unless the context indicates otherwise, all share and per share data in this prospectus give effect to a share split effected on September 12, 2012 in which each of the previously issued ordinary shares and preferred shares were split into 10 ordinary shares and preferred shares, respectively. In addition, unless the context indicates otherwise, all information in this prospectus assumes no exercise by the underwriters of their over-allotment option.

 

 

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The Offering

 

Offering price

US$13.50 per ADS.

 

ADSs offered by us

16,000,000 ADSs (or 18,400,000 ADSs if the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full).

 

ADSs outstanding immediately after this offering

16,000,000 ADSs (or 18,400,000 ADSs if the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full)

 

Concurrent Private Placement

Concurrently with, and subject to, the completion of this offering, Alibaba Investment Limited and 58.com Inc., both of which are non-US entities, have agreed to purchase from us US$50.0 million and US$10.0 million of our Class A ordinary shares, respectively, at a price per share equal to the initial public offering price adjusted to reflect the ADS-to-ordinary share ratio, or the Concurrent Private Placement. Alibaba Investment Limited and 58.com Inc. will purchase 7,407,407 and 1,481,481 Class A ordinary shares from us, respectively. Our proposed issuance and sale of Class A ordinary shares to these investors are being made through private placement pursuant to an exemption from registration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under Regulation S of the Securities Act. Under the subscription agreements executed on November 28, 2014, the completion of this offering is the only substantive closing condition precedent for the concurrent private placement and if this offering is completed, the concurrent private placement will be completed concurrently. All of the investors have agreed with the underwriters not to, directly or indirectly, sell, transfer or dispose of any Class A ordinary shares acquired in the private placement for a period of 180 days after the date of this prospectus, subject to certain exceptions.

 

Ordinary shares outstanding immediately after this offering

We will adopt a dual class ordinary share structure immediately prior to the completion of this offering. 372,956,110 ordinary shares, comprised of 276,069,740 Class A ordinary shares (including 8,888,888 Class A ordinary shares we will issue in the Concurrent Private Placement) and 96,886,370 Class B ordinary shares (or 377,756,110 ordinary shares if the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full, comprised of 280,869,740 Class A ordinary shares and 96,886,370 Class B ordinary shares) will be issued and outstanding immediately upon the completion of this offering. Class B ordinary shares issued and outstanding immediately after the completion of this offering will represent 26.0% of our total issued and outstanding shares and 77.8% of the then total voting power (or 25.6% of our total issued and outstanding shares and 77.5% of the then total voting power if the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full).

 

 

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The ADSs

Each ADS represents two Class A ordinary shares of par value US$0.0001 per share.

 

  The depositary will hold Class A ordinary shares underlying your ADSs. You will have rights as provided in the deposit agreement among us, the depositary and holders and beneficial owners of ADSs from time to time.

 

  We do not expect to pay dividends in the foreseeable future. If, however, we declare dividends on our ordinary shares, the depositary will pay you the cash dividends and other distributions it receives on our Class A ordinary shares after deducting its fees and expenses in accordance with the terms set forth in the deposit agreement.

 

  You may surrender your ADSs to the depositary in exchange for our Class A ordinary shares. The depositary will charge you fees for any exchange.

 

  We may amend or terminate the deposit agreement without your consent. If you continue to hold your ADSs after an amendment to the deposit agreement, you agree to be bound by the deposit agreement as amended.

 

  To better understand the terms of the ADSs, you should carefully read the “Description of American Depositary Shares” section of this prospectus. You should also read the deposit agreement, which is filed as an exhibit to the registration statement that includes this prospectus.

 

Ordinary shares

Our ordinary shares will be divided into Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares immediately prior to the completion of this offering. Holders of Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares will have the same rights except for voting and conversion rights. In respect of matters requiring a shareholder vote, each Class A ordinary share will be entitled to one vote, and each Class B ordinary share will be entitled to ten votes. Each Class B ordinary share is convertible into one Class A ordinary share at any time by the holder thereof. Class A ordinary shares are not convertible into Class B ordinary shares under any circumstances. Upon any transfer of beneficial ownership of Class B ordinary shares by a beneficial owner thereof to any person or entity which is not an affiliate of such owner, such Class B ordinary shares shall be automatically and immediately converted into the same number of Class A ordinary shares. For a description of Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares, see “Description of Share Capital.”

 

Over-allotment option

We have granted to the underwriters an option, exercisable within 30 days from the date of this prospectus, to purchase up to an aggregate of 2,400,000 additional ADSs.

 

 

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Use of proceeds

We expect to receive net proceeds of approximately US$256.5 million from this offering and the Concurrent Private Placement, assuming the underwriters do not exercise their over-allotment option to purchase additional ADSs, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

 

  We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering and the Concurrent Private Placement primarily for general corporate purposes, which may include research and development, sales and marketing activities, technology infrastructure, capital expenditures and other general and administrative matters. We may also use a portion of these proceeds for the acquisitions of, or investments in, technologies, solutions or businesses that complement our business, although we have no present commitments or agreements to enter into any acquisitions or investments. See “Use of Proceeds” for more information.

 

Lock-up

We, our directors, executive officers, our existing shareholders, certain option holders and the investors in the Concurrent Private Placement have agreed with the underwriters not to sell, transfer or dispose of any ADSs, ordinary shares or similar securities for a period of 180 days after the date of this prospectus. See “Shares Eligible for Future Sale” and “Underwriting.”

 

Reserved ADSs

At our request, the underwriters have reserved for sale, at the initial public offering price, up to an aggregate of 1,120,000 ADSs offered in this offering to some of our directors, officers, employees, business associates and related persons through a directed share program.

 

Listing

Our ADSs have been approved for listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “MOMO.” Our ADSs and shares will not be listed on any other stock exchange or traded on any automated quotation system.

 

Payment and settlement

The underwriters expect to deliver the ADSs against payment therefor through the facilities of the Depository Trust Company on December 16, 2014.

 

Depositary

Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas.

The number of ordinary shares that will be outstanding immediately after this offering:

 

    is based on 332,067,222 ordinary shares outstanding as of the date of this prospectus, assuming (i) the automatic re-designation of 96,886,370 ordinary shares held by Gallant Future Holdings Limited into Class B ordinary shares on a one-for-one basis immediately prior to the completion of this offering and (ii) the automatic re-designation of all of our remaining ordinary shares and the automatic conversion and re-designation of all of our outstanding Series A-1, Series A-2, Series A-3, Series B, Series C and Series D preferred shares into 235,180,852 Class A ordinary shares immediately prior to the completion of this offering;

 

 

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    includes 32,000,000 Class A ordinary shares in the form of ADSs that we will issue and sell in this offering, assuming the underwriters do not exercise their over-allotment option to purchase additional ADSs;

 

    includes 8,888,888 Class A ordinary shares we will issue and sell in the Concurrent Private Placement; and

 

    excludes 44,758,220 Class A ordinary shares reserved for future issuances under our 2012 share incentive plan and our 2014 share incentive plan, including 30,727,026 Class A ordinary shares issuable upon exercise of options outstanding as of the date of this prospectus.

 

 

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Summary Consolidated Financial and Operating Data

The following summary consolidated income and comprehensive income data for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2013, summary consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2012 and 2013 and summary consolidated cash flow data for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2013 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. The following summary consolidated income and comprehensive income data for the nine months ended September 30, 2013 and 2014, summary consolidated balance sheet data as of September 30, 2014 and summary consolidated cash flow data for the nine months ended September 30, 2013 and 2014 have been derived from our unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus and have been prepared on the same basis as our audited consolidated financial statements and include all adjustments, consisting only of normal and recurring adjustments, that we consider necessary for a fair presentation of our financial position and operating results for the periods presented.

Our consolidated financial statements are prepared and presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, or U.S. GAAP. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of results expected for future periods. You should read this Summary Consolidated Financial Data section together with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

     Year Ended December 31,     Nine Months
Ended September 30,
 
     2012     2013     2013     2014  
     (in US$ thousands, except share and share-related data)  

Summary Data of Consolidated Statements of Operations:

        

Net Revenues

        

Membership subscription

     —          2,808        759        17,853   

Mobile games

     —          92        —          6,891   

Other services

     —          229        58        1,461   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net revenues

     —          3,129        817        26,205   

Cost and expenses(1)

        

Cost of revenues

     —          (2,927     (1,198     (10,391

Research and development expenses

     (1,454     (3,532     (2,330     (5,222

Sales and marketing expenses

     (419     (3,018     (1,521     (26,214

General and administrative expenses

     (1,969     (3,010     (2,054     (7,559
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total cost and expenses

     (3,842     (12,487     (7,103     (49,386
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss from operations

     (3,842     (9,358     (6,286     (23,181

Interest income

     3        32        27        300   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss

     (3,839     (9,326     (6,259     (22,881

Deemed dividend to preferred shareholders

     (3,093     (8,120     (5,640     (49,673
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss attributable to ordinary shareholders

     (6,932     (17,446     (11,899     (72,554
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss per share attributable to ordinary shareholders, as restated (*)

        

Basic

     (0.12     (0.26     (0.19     (0.93

Diluted

     (0.12     (0.26     (0.19     (0.93

Weighted average shares used in computing net loss per ordinary share

        

Basic

     60,103,654        67,190,411        62,562,500        77,749,511   

Diluted

     60,103,654        67,190,411        62,562,500        77,749,511   

 

(*) Net loss per ordinary share has been restated for each period to allocate all net losses to the ordinary shares, as the restricted shares do not contain a contractual obligation to fund losses.

 

 

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(1) Share-based compensation expenses were allocated in cost and expenses as follows:

 

     Year Ended December 31,      Nine Months Ended
September 30,
 
     2012      2013      2013      2014  
     (in US$ thousands)  

Cost of revenues

     —           34         9         75   

Research and development expenses

     39         269         169         286   

Sales and marketing expenses

     11         128         48         316   

General and administrative expenses

     542         532         314         3,532   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

     592         963         540         4,209   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

The following table presents our summary consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2012, 2013 and September 30, 2014.

 

     As of December 31,     As of September 30, 2014  
     2012     2013     Actual     Unaudited
Pro forma(1)
     Pro forma
as adjusted(2)
 
     (in US$ thousands)  

Summary Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:

           

Cash and cash equivalents

     18,539        55,374        162,206        162,206         418,729   

Total assets

     20,784        63,025        184,867        184,867         441,390   

Total liabilities

     143        5,566        30,135        30,135         30,135   

Total mezzanine equity

     27,199        80,319        310,714        —           —     

Total equity (deficit)

     (6,558     (22,860     (155,982     154,732         411,255   

 

Notes:

(1)  The consolidated balance sheet data as of September 30, 2014 are adjusted on an unaudited pro forma basis to give effect to (i) the automatic re-designation of 96,886,370 ordinary shares held by Gallant Future Holdings Limited into Class B ordinary shares on a one-for-one basis immediately prior to the completion of this offering and (ii) the automatic re-designation of all of our remaining ordinary shares and the automatic conversion and re-designation of all of our outstanding Series A-1, Series A-2, Series A-3, Series B, Series C and Series D preferred shares into 235,180,852 Class A ordinary shares immediately prior to the completion of this offering.
(2)  The consolidated balance sheet data as of September 30, 2014 are adjusted on an unaudited pro forma as adjusted basis to give effect to (i) the automatic re-designation of 96,886,370 ordinary shares held by Gallant Future Holdings Limited into Class B ordinary shares on a one-for-one basis immediately prior to the completion of this offering, (ii) the automatic re-designation of all of our remaining ordinary shares and the automatic conversion and re-designation of all of our outstanding Series A-1, Series A-2, Series A-3, Series B, Series C and Series D preferred shares into 235,180,852 Class A ordinary shares immediately prior to the completion of this offering, (iii) the sale of 32,000,000 Class A ordinary shares in the form of ADSs by us in this offering at the initial public offering price of US$13.50 per ADS, after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, assuming the underwriters do not exercise the over-allotment option and (iv) the issuance and sale of 8,888,888 Class A ordinary shares through the Concurrent Private Placement, with net proceeds of US$60.0 million to us.

 

 

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The following table presents our summary consolidated cash flow data for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2013, as well as the nine months ended September 30, 2013 and 2014.

 

     Year Ended December 31,     Nine Months Ended September 30,  
     2012     2013     2013     2014  
     (in US$ thousands)  

Summary Consolidated Cash Flow Data:

        

Net cash used in operating activities

     (4,104     (5,135     (4,813     (8,415

Net cash used in investing activities

     (1,992     (3,181     (1,888     (6,955

Net cash provided by financing activities

     23,551        45,000        —          122,441   

Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents

     (34     151        160        (239
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net (decrease by) increase in cash and cash equivalents

     17,421        36,835        (6,541     106,832   

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period

     1,118        18,539        18,539        55,374   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

     18,539        55,374        11,998        162,206   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Summary Operating Data

The following charts show our MAUs and average DAUs (as defined below) for each of the months indicated. “MAUs” refers to monthly active users. Prior to June 2014, we defined MAUs during a given calendar month as Momo users who were DAUs for at least one day during the 28-day period counting back from the last day of such calendar month. Beginning from June 2014, we define MAUs during a given calendar month as Momo users who were DAUs for at least one day during the 30-day period counting back from the last day of such calendar month. “DAUs” refers to daily active users, which are Momo users who accessed our platform through Momo mobile application and utilized any of the functions on our platform on a given day. Average DAUs for a particular period is the average of the DAUs on each day during that period.

 

LOGO

   LOGO

 

 

 

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The following charts show the total number of our members as of the end of each of the quarters indicated and the number of Groups as of the end of each month indicated. Members are Momo users who have paid the subscription fees for our membership services. The number of members as of a given date refers to the number of users whose membership subscriptions are in their service period as of such date. Groups are location-based virtual communities created by our users that center around certain points of interest, including residential complexes, educational institutions and commercial buildings, and focus on specific topics of interest. The number of Groups as of a given date refers to the cumulative number of Groups created by our users as of such date.

 

LOGO

   LOGO

 

 

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RISK FACTORS

An investment in our ADSs involves significant risks. You should carefully consider all of the information in this prospectus, including the risks and uncertainties described below, before making an investment in our ADSs. Any of the following risks could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In any such case, the market price of our ADSs could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment.

Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

If we fail to retain our existing users, further grow our user base, or if user engagement on our platform declines, our business and operating results may be materially and adversely affected.

The size of our user base and the level of our user engagement are critical to our success. We had 180.3 million registered users as of September 30, 2014. “Registered users” as of a given day refers to the aggregate number of Momo registered user accounts from the launch of Momo through such day. Each Momo registered user account is usually linked to a mobile phone number. A single person with multiple mobile phone numbers may link to multiple Momo registered user accounts and, in such case, would be counted as multiple registered users. Our MAUs and average DAUs reached 60.2 million and 25.5 million in September 2014, respectively, representing an increase of 112.8% and 140.6% from September 2013.

Growing our user base and increasing the overall level of user engagement on our social networking platform are critical to our business. If our user growth rate slows down, our success will become increasingly dependent on our ability to retain existing users and enhance user engagement on our platform. If our Momo mobile application is no longer one of the social networking tools that people frequently use, or if people do not perceive our services to be interesting or useful, we may not be able to attract users or increase the frequency or depth of their engagement. A number of user-oriented instant communication products that achieved early popularity have since seen the size of their user base or level of user engagement decline, in some cases precipitously. There is no guarantee that we will not experience a similar erosion of our user base or user engagement level in the future. A number of factors could negatively affect user retention, growth and engagement, including if:

 

    we are unable to attract new users to our platform or retain existing ones;

 

    we fail to introduce new and improved services, or if we introduce services that are not favorably received by users;

 

    we are unable to combat spam on or inappropriate or abusive use of our platform, which may lead to negative public perception of us and our brand;

 

    technical or other problems prevent us from delivering our services in a rapid and reliable manner or otherwise adversely affect the user experience;

 

    we suffer from negative publicity, fail to maintain our brand or if our reputation is damaged;

 

    we fail to address user concerns related to privacy and communication, safety, security or other factors; and

 

    there are adverse changes in our services that are mandated by, or that we elect to make to address, legislation, regulations or government policies.

If we are unable to grow our user base or enhance user engagement, our platform will become less attractive to our users, customers and platform partners, which would have a material and adverse impact on our business and operating results.

 

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We are in the early stages of monetization and cannot guarantee that the monetization strategies we have adopted will be successfully implemented or generate sustainable revenues and profit.

Our monetization model is new and evolving. We began to generate revenues in the second half of 2013 through membership subscriptions, mobile games and other services, which accounted for approximately 68.1%, 26.3% and 5.6%, respectively, of our net revenues in the nine months ended September 30, 2014. We generate membership subscription revenues from users who purchase membership packages for additional functionalities and privileges in our mobile application. For mobile games, we cooperate with third-party game developers to provide their games on our platform and share revenues generated by in-game purchases of virtual items with such developers. Our other services include paid emoticons and mobile marketing services. If our strategic initiatives do not enhance our ability to monetize our existing services or enable us to develop new approaches to monetization, we may not be able to maintain or increase our revenues and profits or recover any associated costs. In addition, we may in the future introduce new services to further diversify our revenue streams, including services with which we have little or no prior development or operating experience. If these new or enhanced services fail to engage users, customers or platform partners, we may fail to attract or retain users or to generate sufficient revenues to justify our investments, and our business and operating results may suffer as a result.

We have a limited operating history in a dynamic market, which makes it difficult to evaluate our future prospects.

The market for social networking platforms is relatively new, highly dynamic and may not develop as expected. Our users, customers and platform partners may not fully understand the value of our services, and potential new users, customers and platform partners may have difficulty distinguishing our services from those of our competitors. Convincing potential users, customers and platform partners of the value of our services is critical to the growth of our user base and the success of our business. See also “Industry—Mobile Social Networking in China.”

We launched our Momo mobile application in August 2011, and the relatively short operating history makes it difficult to assess our future prospects or forecast our future results. You should consider our business and prospects in light of the risks and challenges we encounter or may encounter in this developing and rapidly evolving market. These risks and challenges include our ability to, among other things:

 

    increase our number of members and other paying users, which include users who make purchases of emoticons or purchase virtual items in mobile games offered on our platform, as well as the level of user engagement;

 

    develop and deploy diversified and distinguishable features and services for our users and customers;

 

    convince customers of the benefits of our marketing services compared to alternative forms of marketing;

 

    develop or implement strategic initiatives to monetize our platform;

 

    develop a reliable, scalable, secure, high-performance technology infrastructure that can efficiently handle increased usage;

 

    successfully compete with other companies, some of which have substantially greater resources and market power than us, that are currently in, or may in the future enter, our industry, or duplicate the features of our services;

 

    attract, retain and motivate talented employees; and

 

    defend ourselves against litigation, regulatory, intellectual property, privacy or other claims.

If we fail to educate potential users, customers and platform partners about the value of our services, if the market for our platform does not develop as we expect or if we fail to address the needs of this dynamic market, our business will be harmed. Failure to adequately address these or other risks and challenges could harm our business and cause our operating results to suffer.

 

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We have incurred significant net losses in the past, and we may not be able to achieve or subsequently maintain profitability.

Since our inception, we have incurred significant net losses. As of September 30, 2014, we had an accumulated deficit of US$97.3 million. We believe that our future revenue growth will depend on, among other factors, the popularity of social networking applications, as well as our ability to attract new users, increase user engagement, effectively design and implement monetization strategies, develop new services and compete effectively and successfully. In addition, our ability to achieve and sustain profitability is affected by various factors, many of which are beyond our control, such as the continuous development of social networking, mobile games and mobile marketing services in China.

We may continue to incur losses in the near future due to our continued investments in technologies, research and development and our continued sales and marketing initiatives. Changes in the macroeconomic and regulatory environment or competitive dynamics and our inability to respond to these changes in a timely and effective manner may also impact our profitability. Accordingly, you should not rely on the revenues of any prior quarterly or annual period as an indication of our future performance.

We may not be able to successfully maintain and increase the number of our members or other paying users.

Revenues generated from membership subscription packages, mobile games and paid emoticons historically accounted for substantially all of our total revenues. Our future growth depends on our ability to convert our existing users into members and other paying users of our services and mobile games and retain our current members and paying users. Paying users include our members as well as users who make purchases of emoticons or purchase virtual items in mobile games offered on our platform. However, we cannot assure you that we will be able to retain our members and other paying users or continue to convert existing or new users into members and other paying users, nor can we assure you that we will be able to successfully compete with current and new competitors on members and other paying users. Our efforts to provide greater incentives for our users to subscribe for our membership status may not continue to succeed. Our members and other paying users may discontinue their subscriptions or other spending on our services because we no longer serve their needs, or simply because the interests and preferences of these users shift. If we cannot successfully maintain or increase the number of our members and other paying users, our business, results of operations and prospects will be adversely affected.

If we fail to launch new games or release upgrades to existing games that attract new players and retain existing players, our business and operating results will be materially and adversely affected.

We have relied on mobile games for a substantial portion of our revenues, and we expect mobile games to continue to be an important part of our revenues. Revenues generated from mobile games contributed 26.3% of our total revenues in the nine months ended September 30, 2014. Growing and retaining our user base and converting some of our users into paying users largely depend on our ability to continuously offer new games and game updates that anticipate and effectively respond to changing player interests and preferences. If we cannot maintain our existing partnership with third-party game developers, or source new popular games that retain existing players and attract new players by expanding our network of partnering game developers, our business, results of operations and prospects will be materially and adversely affected.

It is difficult to consistently anticipate player preferences or industry changes, particularly games in new genres. Neither can we assure you that the new games we offer will attract a large number of players and be commercially successful, nor can we guarantee that we will be able to meet our timetable for new game launches. A number of factors, including changing game player preferences and our relationship with existing and new third-party game developers, could affect the popularity of new games or delay the launch of new games on our platform. If the new games we introduce are not commercially successful, we may not be able to recover the expenses we incur in game development, which can be significant.

 

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In addition, new games that we offer may attract game players away from existing games on our platform. If this occurs, it will decrease the player base of our existing games, which could result in decreased revenues from such existing games. Game players of our existing games may also spend less money to purchase virtual items in our new games than they would have spent if they had continued playing our existing games, which could materially and adversely affect our revenues.

Our business is dependent on the strength of our brand and market perception of our brand.

In China, we market our services under the brand “ LOGO ” or “Momo.” Our business and financial performance are highly dependent on the strength and the market perception of our brand and services. A well-recognized brand is critical to increasing our user base and, in turn, facilitating our efforts to monetize our services and enhancing our attractiveness to customers. From time to time, we conduct marketing activities across various media to enhance our brand and to guide public perception of our brand and services. In order to create and maintain brand awareness and brand loyalty, to influence public perception and to retain existing and attract new mobile users, customers and platform partners, we may need to substantially increase our marketing expenditures. We cannot assure you, however, that these activities will be successful or that we will be able to achieve the brand promotion effect we expect.

In addition, people may not understand the value of our platform, and there may be a misperception that Momo is used solely as a tool to randomly meet or date strangers. Convincing potential new users, customers and platform partners of the value of our services is critical to increasing the number of our users, customers and platform partners and to the success of our business.

Negative publicity may harm our brand and reputation and have a material adverse effect on our business and operating results.

Negative publicity involving us, our users, our management, our social networking platform or our business model may materially and adversely harm our brand and our business. We cannot assure you that we will be able to defuse negative publicity about us, our management and/or our services to the satisfaction of our investors, users, customers and platform partners. There has been negative publicity about our company and the misuse of our services, which has adversely affected our brand, public image and reputation. Such negative publicity, especially when it is directly addressed against us, may also require us to engage in defensive media campaigns. This may cause us to increase our marketing expenses and divert our management’s attention and may adversely impact our business and results of operations.

In November 2014, Mr. Yan Tang, our co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer, received a letter from a PRC law firm on behalf of Wangzhiyi Information Technology (Beijing) Co, Ltd., or Wangzhiyi, a PRC company affiliated with Netease, Inc., or Netease, where Mr. Tang was employed from December 2003 to September 2011. The letter claimed that because Mr. Tang established Beijing Momo in July 2011 and Beijing Momo launched our application in August 2011, all while Mr. Tang was still an employee of Wangzhiyi, that he breached the terms of his employment agreement with Wangzhiyi, and violated his covenants to not compete with and devote himself to Wangzhiyi during the term of his employment. The letter requested that Mr. Tang apologize in writing to Wangzhiyi promptly and reserved Wangzhiyi’s right to pursue further action. Mr. Tang believes the claims lack merit and intends to defend himself against these claims vigorously.

On December 10, 2014, Netease posted a formal statement on its website alleging that Mr. Tang engaged in unethical conduct while employed with Netease. The statement contained several allegations, including those made in the letter described in the preceding paragraph. We note that none of the allegations put forth in Netease’s statement are directed against our company, and the allegations essentially relate to several alleged incidents that occurred before Mr. Tang joined our company. Mr. Tang has informed us that he believes the allegations are malicious and intends to vigorously defend himself against them.

We cannot predict what future action Netease or Wangzhiyi might take with respect to their claims against Mr. Tang. Nor can we predict whether additional public statements will be issued by Netease or any other party

 

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containing new allegations against Mr. Tang, other management personnel or our company. In the event that Netease or Wangzhiyi were to pursue these claims by means of court proceedings, we cannot predict the length or outcome of any such proceedings. Any legal action, regardless of its merits, could be time consuming and could divert the attention of Mr. Tang away from our business. Should Netease or Wangzhiyi prevail in any future lawsuit against Mr. Tang, his reputation could be harmed and he may be ordered to pay damages and/or cease any actions deemed to be wrongful by the court. Moreover, although we were not named in the letter, we cannot be sure that Netease or Wangzhiyi will not initiate proceedings against us in the future. Any such proceedings may result in negative publicity for us and divert our management’s attention and could materially and adversely affect our reputation, business and results of operations.

Our brand image, business and operating results may be adversely impacted by user misconduct and misuse of our platform.

Our platform allows mobile users to freely contact and communicate with people nearby. Because we do not have full control over how and what users will use our platform to communicate, our platform may be misused by individuals or groups of individuals to engage in immoral, disrespectful, fraudulent or illegal activities. For example, on a daily basis we detect spam accounts through which illegal or inappropriate content is posted and illegal or fraudulent activities are conducted. Media reports and internet forums have covered some of these incidents, which has in some cases generated negative publicity about our brand and platform. We have implemented control procedures to detect and block illegal or inappropriate content and illegal or fraudulent activities conducted through the misuse of our platform, but such procedures may not prevent all such content from being posted or activities from being carried out. Moreover, as we have limited control over the real-time and offline behavior of our users, to the extent such behavior is associated with our platform, our ability to protect our brand image and reputation may be limited. Our business and the public perception of our brand may be materially and adversely affected by misuse of our platform. In addition, if any of our users suffers or alleges to have suffered physical, financial or emotional harm following contact initiated on our platform, we may face civil lawsuits or other liabilities initiated by the affected user, or governmental or regulatory actions against us. In response to allegations of illegal or inappropriate activities conducted through our platform or any negative media coverage about us, PRC government authorities may intervene and hold us liable for non-compliance with PRC laws and regulations concerning the dissemination of information on the internet and subject us to administrative penalties or other sanctions, such as requiring us to restrict or discontinue some of the features and services provided on our mobile application. As a result, our business may suffer and our user base, revenues and profitability may be materially and adversely affected, and the price of our ADSs may decline.

The market in which we operate is fragmented and highly competitive. If we are unable to compete effectively for users or user engagement, our business and operating results may be materially and adversely affected.

As a social networking platform, we are subject to intense competition from providers of similar services as well as potential new types of online services, including interest-based social products. These services include mobile applications, such as Weixin and Mobile QQ. Our competitors may have substantially more cash, traffic, technical and other resources, as well as broader product or service offerings and can leverage their relationships based on other products or services to gain a larger share of marketing budgets. We may be unable to compete successfully against these competitors or new market entrants, which may adversely affect our business and financial performance.

We believe that our ability to compete effectively depends upon many factors both within and beyond our control, including:

 

    the popularity, usefulness, ease of use, performance and reliability of our services compared to those of our competitors, and the research and development abilities of us and our competitors;

 

    changes mandated by, or that we elect to make to address, legislation, regulations or government policies, some of which may have a disproportionate effect on us;

 

    acquisitions or consolidation within our industry, which may result in more formidable competitors;

 

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    our ability to monetize our services;

 

    our ability to attract, retain, and motivate talented employees;

 

    our ability to manage and grow our operations cost-effectively; and

 

    our reputation and brand strength relative to our competitors.

If we fail to keep up with technological developments and evolving user expectations, we may fail to maintain or attract users and customers or generate revenues, and our business and operating results may be materially and adversely affected.

We operate in a market characterized by rapidly changing technologies, evolving industry standards, new product and service announcements, new generations of product enhancements and changing user expectations. Accordingly, our performance and the ability to further monetize the services on our platform will depend on our ability to adapt to these rapidly changing technologies and industry standards, and our ability to continually innovate in response to both evolving demands of the marketplace and competitive services. There may be occasions when we may not be as responsive as our competitors in adapting our services to changing industry standards and the needs of our users. Historically, new features may be introduced by one player in the industry, and if they are perceived as attractive to users, they are often quickly copied and improved upon by others.

Introducing new technologies into our systems involves numerous technical challenges, substantial amounts of capital and personnel resources and often takes many months to complete. For example, the market for mobile devices in China is highly fragmented, and the lower resolution, functionality, operating system compatibility and memory currently associated with the kaleidoscopic models of mobile devices in the Chinese marketplace may make the use of our services through these devices more difficult and impair the user experience. We intend to continue to devote resources to the development of additional technologies and services. We may not be able to effectively integrate new technologies on a timely basis or at all, which may decrease user satisfaction with our services. Such technologies, even if integrated, may not function as expected or may be unable to attract and retain a substantial number of mobile device users to use our Momo mobile application. We also may not be able to protect such technology from being copied by our competitors. Our failure to keep pace with rapid technological changes may cause us to fail to retain or attract users or generate revenues, and could have a material and adverse effect on our business and operating results.

If we fail to effectively manage our growth and control our costs and expenses, our business and operating results could be harmed.

We have experienced rapid growth in our business and operations and expansion of our platform since our inception in 2011, which places significant demands on our management, operational and financial resources. Since the launch of our Momo mobile application in 2011, the number of our registered users grew to 180.3 million as of September 30, 2014. Our MAUs and average DAUs reached 60.2 million and 25.5 million in September 2014, respectively, representing an increase 112.8% and 140.6% from September 2013. However, given our limited operating history and the rapidly evolving market in which we compete, we may encounter difficulties as we establish and expand our operations, product development, sales and marketing, and general and administrative capabilities. We face significant competition for talented employees from other high-growth companies, which include both publicly traded and privately held companies, and we may not be able to hire new talents quickly enough to meet our needs and support our operations. If we fail to effectively manage our hiring needs and successfully integrate our new hires, our efficiency and ability to meet our forecasts and our employee morale, productivity and retention could suffer, and our business and operating results could be adversely affected.

We expect our costs and expenses to continue to increase in the future as we broaden our user base and increase user engagement, and develop and implement new features and services that require more complexity. In addition, our cost and expenses, such as our research and development expenses, sales and marketing expenses and general and administrative expenses, have grown rapidly as we expanded our business. Historically, our costs have increased each year, and we expect to continue to incur increasing costs to support our anticipated future growth. We expect to continue to invest in our infrastructure in order to enable us to provide our services

 

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rapidly and reliably to users. Continued growth could also strain our ability to maintain reliable service levels for our users and customers, develop and improve our operational, financial, legal and management controls, and enhance our reporting systems and procedures. If we are unable to generate adequate revenues and to manage our expenses, we may continue to incur significant losses in the future and may not be able to achieve or subsequently maintain profitability. Our expenses may grow faster than our revenues, and our expenses may be greater than we anticipate. Managing our growth will require significant expenditures and the allocation of valuable management resources. If we fail to achieve the necessary level of efficiency in our organization as it grows, our business, operating results and financial condition could be harmed.

Privacy concerns relating to our services and the use of user information could negatively impact our user base or user engagement, or subject us to governmental regulation and other legal obligations, which could have a material and adverse effect on our business and operating results.

We collect user profile, user location and other personal data from our users in order to better understand our users and their needs and to support our social interest graph engine and our big data analytical capabilities for more targeted services such as interest- or location- based user groups and mobile marketing services. Concerns about the collection, use, disclosure or security of personal information or chat history or other privacy-related matters, even if unfounded, could damage our reputation, cause us to lose users and customers and subject us to regulatory investigations, all of which may adversely affect our business. While we strive to comply with applicable data protection laws and regulations, as well as our privacy policies pursuant to our terms of use and other obligations we may have with respect to privacy and data protection, any failure or perceived failure to comply with these laws, regulations or policies may result, and in some cases have resulted, in inquiries and other proceedings or actions against us by government agencies or others, as well as negative publicity and damage to our reputation and brand, each of which could cause us to lose users and customers and have an adverse effect on our business and operating results.

Any systems failure or compromise of our security that results in the unauthorized access to or release of the data or chat history of our users, customers or platform partners data or chat history could significantly limit the adoption of our services, as well as harm our reputation and brand. We expect to continue expending significant resources to protect against security breaches. The risk that these types of events could seriously harm our business is likely to increase as we expand the number of services we offer and increase the size of our user base.

Our practices may become inconsistent with new laws or regulations concerning data protection, or the interpretation and application of existing consumer and data protection laws or regulations, which is often uncertain and in flux. If so, in addition to the possibility of fines, this could result in an order requiring that we change our practices, which could have an adverse effect on our business and operating results. Complying with new laws and regulations could cause us to incur substantial costs or require us to change our business practices in a manner materially adverse to our business. See also “—Risks Related to Doing Businesses in China—Uncertainties in the interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws and regulations could limit the legal protections available to you and us.”

The continuing and collaborative efforts of our senior management and key employees are crucial to our success, and our business may be harmed if we were to lose their services.

We depend on the continued contributions of our senior management, especially the executive officers listed in “Management” section of this prospectus, and other key employees, many of whom are difficult to replace. The loss of the services of any of our executive officers or other key employees could materially harm our business. Competition for qualified talent in China is intense. Our future success is dependent on our ability to attract a significant number of qualified employees and retain existing key employees. If we are unable to do so, our business and growth may be materially and adversely affected and the trading price of our ADSs could suffer. Our need to significantly increase the number of our qualified employees and retain key employees may cause us to materially increase compensation-related costs, including stock-based compensation.

 

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We may not be able to adequately protect our intellectual property, which could cause us to be less competitive and third-party infringements of our intellectual property rights may adversely affect our business.

We rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret laws and restrictions on disclosure to protect our intellectual property rights. See also “Business—Intellectual Property.” Despite our efforts to protect our proprietary rights, third parties may attempt to copy or otherwise obtain and use our intellectual property or seek court declarations that they do not infringe upon our intellectual property rights. Monitoring unauthorized use of our intellectual property is difficult and costly, and we cannot be certain that the steps we have taken will prevent misappropriation of our intellectual property. From time to time, we may have to resort to litigation to enforce our intellectual property rights, which could result in substantial costs and diversion of our resources.

There have been instances where third parties have cloned and launched counterfeits of our Momo mobile application on app stores or internet forums. Some of these counterfeits, once installed inadvertently by mobile users, were reported to automatically download and install other applications to these users’ mobile phones, charging them various fees. These counterfeits may mislead mobile users and negatively affect their perception of our application. Moreover, we may have to expend resources in connection with any legal actions that we take to curb these counterfeiting activities in order to protect our intellectual property rights, user experience and brand perception.

We have been and may be subject to intellectual property infringement claims or other allegations by third parties for information or content displayed on, retrieved from or linked to our platform, or distributed to our users, which may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and prospects.

We have been and may in the future be subject to intellectual property infringement claims or other allegations by third parties for services we provide or for information or content displayed on, retrieved from or linked to our platform, or distributed to our users, which may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and prospects.

Companies in the internet, technology and media industries are frequently involved in litigation based on allegations of infringement of intellectual property rights, unfair competition, invasion of privacy, defamation and other violations of other parties’ rights. The validity, enforceability and scope of protection of intellectual property rights in internet-related industries, particularly in China, are uncertain and still evolving. We face, from time to time, and expect to face in the future, allegations that we have infringed the trademarks, copyrights, patents and other intellectual property rights of third parties, including our competitors, or allegations that we are involved in unfair trade practices. For example, in November 2014, we were served a civil complaint in which the plaintiff claimed that our use of the Chinese characters “ LOGO ” in marketing our brand infringed upon its trademark and demanded that we cease using the Chinese characters and pay for the plaintiff’s litigation-related costs. After consulting with our PRC counsel, we believe that because the scope of business covered by the plaintiff’s trademark class is substantially different from the scope of our business, the likelihood of the plaintiff’s claim prevailing is remote. We were informed later in November 2014 that such civil complaint had been withdrawn by the plaintiff. However, we cannot predict what future actions the plaintiff might take with respect to its claim. If the plaintiff were to file another lawsuit against us in respect of this claim, and were the plaintiff’s claim to prevail, it could have a material adverse effect on our ability to market under our brand and, as a result, would negatively affect our business. As we face increasing competition and as litigation becomes a more common method for resolving commercial disputes in China, we face a higher risk of being the subject of intellectual property infringement claims.

We allow users to upload text, graphics, audio, video and other content to our platform and download, share, link to and otherwise access games and other content on our platform. We have procedures designed to reduce the likelihood that content might be used without proper licenses or third-party consents. However, these procedures may not be effective in preventing the unauthorized posting of copyrighted content. Therefore, we may face liability for copyright or trademark infringement, defamation, unfair competition, libel, negligence, and other claims based on the nature and content of the materials that are delivered, shared or otherwise accessed through our platform.

 

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Defending intellectual property litigation is costly and can impose a significant burden on our management and employees, and there can be no assurances that favorable final outcomes will be obtained in all cases. Such claims, even if they do not result in liability, may harm our reputation. Any resulting liability or expenses, or changes required to our platform to reduce the risk of future liability, may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and prospects.

User growth and engagement depend upon effective interoperation with mobile operating systems, networks, mobile devices and standards that we do not control.

We make our services available across a variety of mobile operating systems and devices. We are dependent on the interoperability of our services with popular mobile devices and mobile operating systems that we do not control, such as Android, iOS and Windows. Any changes in such mobile operating systems or devices that degrade the functionality of our services or give preferential treatment to competitive services could adversely affect usage of our services. Further, if the number of platforms for which we develop our services increases, which is typically seen in a dynamic and fragmented mobile services market such as China, it will result in an increase in our costs and expenses. In order to deliver high quality services, it is important that our services work well across a range of mobile operating systems, networks, mobile devices and standards that we do not control. We may not be successful in developing relationships with key participants in the mobile industry or in developing services that operate effectively with these operating systems, networks, devices and standards. In the event that it is difficult for our users to access and use our services, particularly on their mobile devices, our user growth and user engagement could be harmed, and our business and operating results could be adversely affected.

Our operations depend on the performance of the internet infrastructure and fixed telecommunications networks in China.

Almost all access to the internet in China is maintained through state-owned telecommunication operators under the administrative control and regulatory supervision of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, or the MIIT. Moreover, we primarily rely on a limited number of telecommunication service providers to provide us with data communications capacity through local telecommunications lines and internet data centers to host our servers. We have limited access to alternative networks or services in the event of disruptions, failures or other problems with China’s internet infrastructure or the fixed telecommunications networks provided by telecommunication service providers. Web traffic in China has experienced significant growth during the past few years. Effective bandwidth and server storage at internet data centers in large cities such as Beijing are scarce. With the expansion of our business, we may be required to upgrade our technology and infrastructure to keep up with the increasing traffic on our platform. We cannot assure you that the internet infrastructure and the fixed telecommunications networks in China will be able to support the demands associated with the continued growth in internet usage. If we cannot increase our capacity to deliver our online services, we may not be able to the increases in traffic we anticipate from our expanding user base, and the adoption of our services may be hindered, which could adversely impact our business and our ADS price.

In addition, we have no control over the costs of the services provided by telecommunication service providers. If the prices we pay for telecommunications and internet services rise significantly, our results of operations may be materially and adversely affected. Furthermore, if internet access fees or other charges to internet users increase, some users may be prevented from accessing the mobile internet and thus cause the growth of mobile internet users to decelerate. Such deceleration may adversely affect our ability to continue to expand our user base.

Our business and operating results may be harmed by service disruptions, or by our failure to timely and effectively scale and adapt our existing technology and infrastructure.

People use our platform for real-time communication, socializing and information. We have experienced, and may in the future experience, service disruptions, outages and other performance problems due to a variety of factors, including infrastructure changes, human or software errors, hardware failure, capacity constraints due

 

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to an overwhelming number of people accessing our mobile services simultaneously, computer viruses and denial of service, fraud and security attacks. Any disruption or failure in our infrastructure could hinder our ability to handle existing or increased traffic on our platform or cause us to lose content stored on our platform, which could significantly harm our business and our ability to retain existing users and attract new users.

As the number of our users increases and our users generate more content on our platform, we may be required to expand and adapt our technology and infrastructure to continue to reliably store and analyze this content. It may become increasingly difficult to maintain and improve the performance of our services, especially during peak usage times, as our services become more complex and our user traffic increases. If our users are unable to access Momo mobile application in a timely fashion, or at all, our user experience may be compromised and the users may seek other mobile social networking tools to meet their needs, and may not return to Momo or use Momo as often in the future, or at all. This would negatively impact our ability to attract users and maintain the level of user engagement.

Future strategic alliances or acquisitions may have a material and adverse effect on our business, reputation and results of operations.

We may in the future enter into strategic alliances with various third parties. Strategic alliances with third parties could subject us to a number of risks, including risks associated with sharing proprietary information, non-performance by the counterparty and an increase in expenses incurred in establishing new strategic alliances, any of which may materially and adversely affect our business. We may have little ability to control or monitor their actions and to the extent strategic third parties suffer negative publicity or harm to their reputation from events relating to their business, we may also suffer negative publicity or harm to our reputation by virtue of our association with such third parties.

In addition, we may acquire additional assets, technologies or businesses that are complementary to our existing business. Future acquisitions and the subsequent integration of new assets and businesses into our own would require significant attention from our management and could result in a diversion of resources from our existing business, which in turn could have an adverse effect on our business operations. Acquired assets or businesses may not generate the financial or operating results we expect. In addition, acquisitions could result in the use of substantial amounts of cash, potentially dilutive issuances of equity securities, the incurrence of debt, the incurrence of significant goodwill impairment charges, amortization expenses for other intangible assets and exposure to potential unknown liabilities of the acquired business. Moreover, the costs of identifying and consummating acquisitions may be significant. In addition to possible shareholders’ approval, we may also have to obtain approvals and licenses from the government authorities in the PRC for the acquisitions and comply with applicable PRC laws and regulations, which could result in increased costs and delays.

We rely on assumptions and estimates to calculate certain key operating metrics, and real or perceived inaccuracies in such metrics may harm our reputation and negatively affect our business.

The numbers of daily and monthly active users of Momo are calculated using internal company data that has not been independently verified. While these numbers are based on what we believe to be reasonable calculations for the applicable periods of measurement, there are inherent challenges in measuring usage and user engagement across our large user base. We treat each account as a separate user for the purposes of calculating our active users, because it may not always be possible to identify people that have set up more than one account. Accordingly, the calculations of our active users may not accurately reflect the actual number of people using Momo.

Our measures of user growth and user engagement may differ from estimates published by third parties or from similarly titled metrics used by our competitors due to differences in methodology. If customers or platform partners do not perceive our user metrics to be accurate representations of our user base or user engagement, or if we discover material inaccuracies in our user metrics, our reputation may be harmed and customers and platform partners may be less willing to allocate their resources or spending to Momo, which could negatively affect our business and operating results.

 

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We have granted, and expect to continue to grant, share options under our share incentive plans, which may result in increased share-based compensation expenses.

We have adopted two share incentive plans as of the date of this prospectus for the purpose of granting share-based compensation awards to employees, directors and consultants to incentivize their performance and align their interests with ours. In November 2012, we adopted a share incentive plan, or the 2012 Plan, which was amended and restated in October 2013. In November 2014, we adopted the 2014 share incentive plan, or the 2014 Plan, pursuant to which a maximum aggregate of 14,031,194 Class A ordinary shares may be issued pursuant to all awards granted thereunder. Beginning in 2017, the number of shares reserved for future issuances under the 2014 Plan will be increased by a number equal to 1.5% of the total number of outstanding shares on the last day of the immediately preceding calendar year, or such lesser number of Class A ordinary shares as determined by our board of directors, on the first day of each calendar year during the term of the 2014 Plan. With the adoption of the 2014 Plan, we will no longer grant any incentive shares under the 2012 Plan. As of the date of this prospectus, options to purchase 30,787,026 ordinary shares have been granted under the 2012 Plan, 30,727,026 of which remained outstanding. Upon completion of this offering, an option to purchase our ordinary shares granted under the 2012 Plan prior to the offering will entitle the holder to purchase an equivalent number of Class A ordinary shares. We have not granted any awards under the 2014 Plan as of the date of this prospectus. See “Management—Share Incentive Plans” for a detailed discussion. In October 2014, we granted to our employees options to purchase 2,963,500 ordinary shares with an exercise price of $0.0002 per share and a vesting period of four years. Given the proximity of the grant to our initial public offering, we used US$6.75, which is the initial public offering price per ordinary share, as the fair value per share underlying the options granted in October 2014. As a result, we expect to incur approximately US$20 million share-based compensation expense in connection with the October 2014 option grant over the four-year vesting period. We believe the granting of share options is of significant importance to our ability to attract and retain our employees, and we will continue to grant share options to employees in the future. As a result, our expenses associated with share-based compensation may increase, which may have an adverse effect on our results of operations.

If we fail to implement and maintain an effective system of internal controls or fail to remediate the material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting that has been identified, we may be unable to accurately report our results of operations or prevent fraud or fail to meet our reporting obligations, and investor confidence and the market price of our ADSs may be materially and adversely affected.

Prior to this offering, we were a private company with limited accounting personnel and other resources with which to address our internal controls and procedures. Our independent registered public accounting firm has not conducted an audit of our internal control over financial reporting. However, in preparing our consolidated financial statements as of and for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2013, we and our independent registered public accounting firm identified two material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, as defined in the standards established by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board of the United States, or PCAOB, and other control deficiencies. The two material weaknesses identified related to lack of accounting personnel with appropriate knowledge of U.S. GAAP, and lack of a comprehensive accounting policies and procedures manual according to U.S. GAAP. Following the identification of the material weaknesses and control deficiencies, we have taken and plan to continue to take remedial measures. For details of these remedies, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Internal Control over Financial Reporting.” However, the implementation of these measures may not fully address the material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, and we cannot conclude that they have been fully remedied. Our failure to correct the material weaknesses or our failure to discover and address any other material weakness or control deficiencies could result in inaccuracies in our financial statements and could also impair our ability to comply with applicable financial reporting requirements and related regulatory filings on a timely basis. As a result, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects, as well as the trading price of our ADSs, may be materially and adversely affected. Moreover, ineffective internal control over financial reporting significantly hinders our ability to prevent fraud.

 

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Furthermore, it is possible that, had our independent registered public accounting firm conducted an audit of our internal control over financial reporting, such firm might have identified additional material weaknesses and deficiencies. Upon completion of this offering, we will become a public company in the United States subject to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or Section 404, will require that we include a report of management on our internal control over financial reporting in our annual report on Form 20-F beginning with our annual report for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2015. In addition, once we cease to be an “emerging growth company” as such term is defined in the JOBS Act, our independent registered public accounting firm must attest to and report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. Our management may conclude that our internal control over financial reporting is not effective. Moreover, even if our management concludes that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, our independent registered public accounting firm, after conducting its own independent testing, may issue a report that is qualified if it is not satisfied with our internal controls or the level at which our controls are documented, designed, operated or reviewed, or if it interprets the relevant requirements differently from us. In addition, after we become a public company, our reporting obligations may place a significant strain on our management, operational and financial resources and systems for the foreseeable future. We may be unable to timely complete our evaluation testing and any required remediation.

During the course of documenting and testing our internal control procedures, in order to satisfy the requirements of Section 404, we may identify other weaknesses and deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting. In addition, if we fail to maintain the adequacy of our internal control over financial reporting, as these standards are modified, supplemented or amended from time to time, we may not be able to conclude on an ongoing basis that we have effective internal control over financial reporting in accordance with Section 404. If we fail to achieve and maintain an effective internal control environment, we could suffer material misstatements in our financial statements and fail to meet our reporting obligations, which would likely cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information. This could in turn limit our access to capital markets, harm our results of operations, and lead to a decline in the trading price of our ADSs. Additionally, ineffective internal control over financial reporting could expose us to increased risk of fraud or misuse of corporate assets and subject us to potential delisting from the stock exchange on which we list, regulatory investigations and civil or criminal sanctions. We may also be required to restate our financial statements from prior periods.

We have no business insurance coverage.

The insurance industry in China is still young and the business insurance products offered in China are limited. We do not have any business liability or disruption insurance coverage for our operations. Any business disruption, litigation or natural disaster may cause us to incur substantial costs and divert our resources.

We face risks related to health epidemics and natural disasters.

Our business could be adversely affected by the effects of epidemics. In recent years, there have been breakouts of epidemics in China and globally. Our business operations could be disrupted if one of our employees is suspected of having H1N1 flu, avian flu or another epidemic, since it could require our employees to be quarantined and/or our offices to be disinfected. In addition, our results of operations could be adversely affected to the extent that the outbreak harms the Chinese economy in general and the mobile internet industry in particular.

We are also vulnerable to natural disasters and other calamities. Although we have servers that are hosted in an offsite location, our backup system does not capture data on a real-time basis and we may be unable to recover certain data in the event of a server failure. We cannot assure you that any backup systems will be adequate to protect us from the effects of fire, floods, typhoons, earthquakes, power loss, telecommunications failures, break-ins, war, riots, terrorist attacks or similar events. Any of the foregoing events may give rise to server interruptions, breakdowns, system failures, technology platform failures or internet failures, which could cause the loss or corruption of data or malfunctions of software or hardware as well as adversely affect our ability to provide services on our platform.

 

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Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure

If the PRC government finds that the agreements that establish the structure for operating our businesses in China do not comply with PRC regulations on foreign investment in internet and other related businesses, or if these regulations or their interpretation change in the future, we could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish our interests in those operations.

Current PRC laws and regulations impose certain restrictions or prohibitions on foreign ownership of companies that engage in internet and other related businesses, including the provision of internet content and online game operations. Specifically, foreign ownership of an internet content provider may not exceed 50%. We are a company registered in the Cayman Islands and Beijing Momo Information Technology Ltd., or Beijing Momo IT, our wholly owned PRC subsidiary, is considered a foreign-invested enterprise. To comply with PRC laws and regulations, we conduct our business in China through Beijing Momo Technology Ltd., or Beijing Momo, our consolidated affiliated entity, and its subsidiary, based on a series of contractual arrangements by and among Beijing Momo IT, Beijing Momo and its shareholders. As a result of these contractual arrangements, we exert control over Beijing Momo and its subsidiary and consolidate or combine their operating results in our financial statements under U.S. GAAP. Beijing Momo holds the licenses, approvals and key assets that are essential for our business operations.

In the opinion of our PRC counsel, Han Kun Law Offices, the ownership structure of our PRC subsidiary and Beijing Momo, and the contractual arrangements among our PRC subsidiary, Beijing Momo and its shareholders are in compliance with existing PRC laws, rules and regulations. There are, however, substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current or future PRC laws and regulations. Thus, we cannot assure you that the PRC government will not ultimately take a view contrary to the opinion of our PRC counsel. If we are found in violation of any PRC laws or regulations or if the contractual arrangements among Beijing Momo IT, Beijing Momo and its shareholders are determined as illegal or invalid by the PRC court, arbitral tribunal or regulatory authorities, the relevant governmental authorities would have broad discretion in dealing with such violation, including, without limitation:

 

    revoke our business and operating licenses;

 

    require us to discontinue or restrict operations;

 

    restrict our right to collect revenues;

 

    block our websites;

 

    require us to restructure the operations in such a way as to compel us to establish a new enterprise, re-apply for the necessary licenses or relocate our businesses, staff and assets;

 

    impose additional conditions or requirements with which we may not be able to comply; or

 

    take other regulatory or enforcement actions against the Group that could be harmful to the Group’s business.

The imposition of any of these penalties may result in a material and adverse effect on our ability to conduct the business. In addition, if the imposition of any of these penalties causes us to lose the rights to direct the activities of our consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary or the right to receive their economic benefits, we would no longer be able to consolidate our consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary. We do not believe that any penalties imposed or actions taken by the PRC government would result in the liquidation of the Company, Beijing Momo IT, or our consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary.

We rely on contractual arrangements with Beijing Momo and its shareholders for our operations in China, which may not be as effective in providing operational control as direct ownership.

Due to the PRC restrictions or prohibitions on foreign ownership of internet and other related businesses in China, we operate our business in China through Beijing Momo and its subsidiary, our consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary, in which we have no ownership interest. We rely on a series of contractual arrangements with Beijing Momo and its shareholders, including the powers of attorney, to control and operate its business.

 

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Our ability to control the consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary depends on the powers of attorney, pursuant to which Beijing Momo IT can vote on all matters requiring shareholder approval in the Beijing Momo. We believe this power of attorney is legally enforceable but may not be as effective as direct equity ownership. These contractual arrangements are intended to provide us with effective control over Beijing Momo and its subsidiary and allow us to obtain economic benefits from them. See “Corporate History and Structure—Contractual Arrangements with Beijing Momo” for more details about these contractual arrangements.

Although we have been advised by our PRC counsel, Han Kun Law Offices, that these contractual arrangements are valid, binding and enforceable under existing PRC laws and regulations, these contractual arrangements may not be as effective in providing control over Beijing Momo and its subsidiary as direct ownership. If Beijing Momo or its shareholders fail to perform their respective obligations under the contractual arrangements, we may incur substantial costs and expend substantial resources to enforce our rights. All of these contractual arrangements are governed by and interpreted in accordance with PRC law, and disputes arising from these contractual arrangements will be resolved through arbitration in China. However, the legal system in China, particularly as it relates to arbitration proceedings, is not as developed as in other jurisdictions, such as the United States. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Doing Business in China—Uncertainties in the interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws and regulations could limit the legal protections available to you and us.” There are very few precedents and little official guidance as to how contractual arrangements in the context of a variable interest entity should be interpreted or enforced under PRC law. There remain significant uncertainties regarding the ultimate outcome of arbitration should legal action become necessary. These uncertainties could limit our ability to enforce these contractual arrangements. In addition, arbitration awards are final and can only be enforced in PRC courts through arbitration award recognition proceedings, which could cause additional expenses and delays. In the event we are unable to enforce these contractual arrangements or we experience significant delays or other obstacles in the process of enforcing these contractual arrangements, we may not be able to exert effective control over our affiliated entities and may lose control over the assets owned by Beijing Momo and its subsidiary. As a result, we may be unable to consolidate Beijing Momo and its subsidiary in our consolidated financial statements, our ability to conduct our business may be negatively affected, and our business operations could be severely disrupted, which could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

We may lose the ability to use and enjoy assets held by Beijing Momo and its subsidiary that are important to the operation of our business if Beijing Momo or its subsidiary declares bankruptcy or becomes subject to a dissolution or liquidation proceeding.

Beijing Momo and its subsidiary, Chengdu Momo, hold certain assets that are important to our business operations, including the value-added telecommunication service license concerning the internet information service, or the ICP License, and the Online Culture Operating Permit. Under our contractual arrangements, the shareholders of Beijing Momo may not voluntarily liquidate Beijing Momo or approve it to sell, transfer, mortgage or dispose of its assets or legal or beneficial interests exceeding certain threshold in the business in any manner without our prior consent. However, in the event that the shareholders breach this obligation and voluntarily liquidate Beijing Momo, or Beijing Momo declares bankruptcy, or all or part of its assets become subject to liens or rights of third-party creditors, we may be unable to continue some or all of our business operations, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, if Beijing Momo or its subsidiary undergoes a voluntary or involuntary liquidation proceeding, its shareholders or unrelated third-party creditors may claim rights to some or all of its assets, thereby hindering our ability to operate our business, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Contractual arrangements we have entered into with Beijing Momo may be subject to scrutiny by the PRC tax authorities. A finding that we owe additional taxes could significantly reduce our consolidated net income and the value of your investment.

Pursuant to applicable PRC laws and regulations, arrangements and transactions among related parties may be subject to audit or challenge by the PRC tax authorities. We may be subject to adverse tax consequences if the PRC tax authorities determine that the contractual arrangements among our PRC subsidiary, Beijing Momo and

 

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its shareholders are not on an arm’s length basis and therefore constitute favorable transfer pricing. As a result, the PRC tax authorities could require that Beijing Momo adjust its taxable income upward for PRC tax purposes. Such an adjustment could adversely affect us by increasing Beijing Momo’s tax expenses without reducing the tax expenses of our PRC subsidiary, subjecting Beijing Momo to late payment fees and other penalties for under-payment of taxes, and resulting in our PRC subsidiary’s loss of its preferential tax treatment. Our consolidated results of operations may be adversely affected if Beijing Momo’s tax liabilities increase or if it is subject to late payment fees or other penalties.

If the chops of our PRC subsidiary, Beijing Momo and its subsidiary, are not kept safely, are stolen or are used by unauthorized persons or for unauthorized purposes, the corporate governance of these entities could be severely and adversely compromised.

In China, a company chop or seal serves as the legal representation of the company towards third parties even when unaccompanied by a signature. Each legally registered company in China is required to maintain a company chop, which must be registered with the local Public Security Bureau. In addition to this mandatory company chop, companies may have several other chops which can be used for specific purposes. The chops of our PRC subsidiary, Beijing Momo and its subsidiary are generally held securely by personnel designated or approved by us in accordance with our internal control procedures. To the extent those chops are not kept safe, are stolen or are used by unauthorized persons or for unauthorized purposes, the corporate governance of these entities could be severely and adversely compromised and those corporate entities may be bound to abide by the terms of any documents so chopped, even if they were chopped by an individual who lacked the requisite power and authority to do so.

The shareholders of Beijing Momo may have potential conflicts of interest with us, which may materially and adversely affect our business.

The shareholders of Beijing Momo, our consolidated affiliated entity, include Messrs. Yan Tang, Yong Li, Xiaoliang Lei and Zhiwei Li, who are also our shareholders, directors or officers. Conflicts of interest may arise between the roles of Messrs. Yan Tang, Yong Li, Xiaoliang Lei and Zhiwei Li as shareholders, directors or officers of our company and as shareholders of Beijing Momo. We rely on these individuals to abide by the laws of the Cayman Islands, which provide that directors and officers owe a fiduciary duty to our company to act in good faith and in the best interest of our company and not to use their positions for personal gain. The shareholders of Beijing Momo have executed powers of attorney to appoint Beijing Momo IT, our PRC subsidiary, or a person designated by Beijing Momo IT to vote on their behalf and exercise voting rights as shareholders of Beijing Momo. We cannot assure you that when conflicts arise, shareholders of Beijing Momo will act in the best interest of our company or that conflicts will be resolved in our favor. If we cannot resolve any conflicts of interest or disputes between us and these shareholders, we would have to rely on legal proceedings, which may be expensive, time-consuming and disruptive to our operations. There is also substantial uncertainty as to the outcome of any such legal proceedings.

We may rely on dividends paid by our PRC subsidiary to fund cash and financing requirements. Any limitation on the ability of our PRC subsidiary to pay dividends to us could have a material adverse effect on our ability to conduct our business and to pay dividends to holders of the ADSs and our ordinary shares.

We are a holding company, and we may rely on dividends to be paid by our PRC subsidiary for our cash and financing requirements, including the funds necessary to pay dividends and other cash distributions to the holders of the ADSs and our ordinary shares and service any debt we may incur. If our PRC subsidiary incur debt on their own behalf in the future, the instruments governing the debt may restrict their ability to pay dividends or make other distributions to us.

Under PRC laws and regulations, a wholly foreign-owned enterprises in the PRC, such as Beijing Momo IT, may pay dividends only out of its accumulated profits as determined in accordance with PRC accounting standards and regulations. In addition, a wholly foreign-owned enterprise is required to set aside at least 10% of its after-tax profits each year, after making up previous years’ accumulated losses, if any, to fund certain

 

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statutory reserve funds, until the aggregate amount of such a fund reaches 50% of its registered capital. At the discretion of the board of director of the wholly foreign-owned enterprise, it may allocate a portion of its after-tax profits based on PRC accounting standards to staff welfare and bonus funds. These reserve funds and staff welfare and bonus funds are not distributable as cash dividends. Any limitation on the ability of our wholly-owned PRC subsidiary to pay dividends or make other distributions to us could materially and adversely limit our ability to grow, make investments or acquisitions that could be beneficial to our business, pay dividends, or otherwise fund and conduct our business.

Risks Related to Doing Business in China

Uncertainties in the interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws and regulations could limit the legal protections available to you and us.

The PRC legal system is based on written statutes and court decisions have limited precedential value. The PRC legal system evolves rapidly, and the interpretations of many laws, regulations and rules may contain inconsistencies and enforcement of these laws, regulations and rules involves uncertainties.

From time to time, we may have to resort to administrative and court proceedings to enforce our legal rights. However, since PRC judicial and administrative authorities have significant discretion in interpreting and implementing statutory and contractual terms, it may be more difficult to predict the outcome of a judicial or administrative proceeding than in more developed legal systems. Furthermore, the PRC legal system is based, in part, on government policies and internal rules, some of which are not published in a timely manner, or at all, but which may have retroactive effect. As a result, we may not always be aware of any potential violation of these policies and rules. Such unpredictability towards our contractual, property (including intellectual property) and procedural rights could adversely affect our business and impede our ability to continue our operations.

Regulation and censorship of information disseminated over the mobile and internet in China may adversely affect our business and subject us to liability for content posted on our platform.

Internet companies in China are subject to a variety of existing and new rules, regulations, policies, and license and permit requirements. In connection with enforcing these rules, regulations, policies and requirements, relevant government authorities may suspend services by, or revoke licenses of, any internet or mobile content service provider that is deemed to provide illicit content online or on mobile devices, and such activities may be intensified in connection with any ongoing government campaigns to eliminate prohibited content online. For example, in April 2014, the Office of the Anti-Pornography and Illegal Publications Working Group, the State Internet Information Office, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Public Security jointly launched an “Anti-Pornography and Illegal Publications – Clean Up the Internet 2014” campaign. Based on publicly available information, the campaign aims to eliminate pornographic information and content in the internet information services industry by, among other things, holding liable individuals and corporate entities that facilitate the distribution of pornographic information and content. During the campaign, the Office of the Anti-Pornography and Illegal Publications Working Group sanctioned six companies, five of which are publicly traded, due to the presence of pornographic content on their respective websites or platforms. The sanctions included public criticisms, fines ranging from RMB50,000 (US$8,146) to RMB5.1 million (US$0.8 million), and the revocation of online publishing and online video licenses. Further, in the case of one privately held company alleged to have directly profited from distributing pornographic and pirated videos via its streaming video player, its chief executive officer was arrested and has been transferred to the prosecuting authorities for further action.

We endeavor to eliminate illicit content from our platform. We have made substantial investments in resources to monitor content that users post on our platform and the way in which our users engage with each other through our platform. Since our inception, we have terminated over 10 million user accounts because we viewed content generated by those users to be indecent and during September 2014 we terminated 11.2% of new user accounts in order to eliminate spam, fictitious accounts and indecent content from our platform. We use a variety of methods to ensure our platform remains a healthy and positive experience for our users, including a designated content management team, licensed third party software, our own data analytics software, and our

 

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user tiering system. Although we employ these methods to filter our users and content posted by our users, we cannot be sure that our internal content control efforts will be sufficient to remove all content that may be viewed as indecent or otherwise non-compliant with PRC law and regulations. Government standards and interpretations as to what constitutes illicit online content or behavior are subject to interpretation and may change. Although we have not received any government sanctions in connection with content posted on our platform, government standards and interpretations may change in a manner that could render our current monitoring efforts insufficient. The Chinese government has wide discretion in regulating online activities and, irrespective of our efforts to control the content on our platform, government campaigns and other actions to reduce illicit content and activities could subject us to negative press or regulatory challenges and sanctions, including fines, the suspension or revocation of our licenses to operate in China or a ban of our platform, including closure of one or more parts of or our entire business. Further, our senior management could be held criminally liable if we are deemed to be profiting from illicit content on our platform. Although our business and operations have not been materially adversely affected by government campaigns or any other regulatory actions in the past, we cannot assure you that our business and operations will be immune from government actions or sanctions in the future. If government actions or sanctions are brought against us, or if there are widespread rumors that government actions or sanctions have been brought against us, our reputation could be harmed, we may lose users and customers, our revenues and results of operation may be materially and adversely affected and the value of our ADSs could be dramatically reduced.

Content posted or displayed on our social networking platform may be found objectionable by PRC regulatory authorities and may subject us to penalties and other severe consequences.

The PRC government has adopted regulations governing internet and wireless access and the distribution of information over the internet and wireless telecommunication networks. Under these regulations, internet content providers and internet publishers are prohibited from posting or displaying over the internet or wireless networks content that, among other things, violates PRC laws and regulations, impairs the national dignity of China or the public interest, or is obscene, superstitious, fraudulent or defamatory. Furthermore, internet content providers are also prohibited from displaying content that may be deemed by relevant government authorities as “socially destabilizing” or leaking “state secrets” of the PRC. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in the revocation of licenses to provide internet content or other licenses, the closure of the concerned platforms and reputational harm. The operator may also be held liable for any censored information displayed on or linked to their platform. For a detailed discussion, see “Regulation.”

Since our inception, we have designed and implemented procedures to monitor the content on our social networking platform in order to comply with relevant laws and regulations. However, it may not be possible to determine in all cases the types of content that could result in our liability as a distributor of such content and, if any of the content posted or displayed on our social networking platform is deemed by the PRC government to violate any content restrictions, we would not be able to continue to display such content and could become subject to penalties, including confiscation of income, fines, suspension of business and revocation of required licenses, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We may also be subject to potential liability for any unlawful actions by our users on our platform. It may be difficult to determine the type of content or actions that may result in liability to us and, if we are found to be liable, we may be prevented from operating our business in China. Moreover, the costs of compliance with these regulations may continue to increase as a result of more content being made available by an increasing number of users of our social networking platform, which may adversely affect our results of operations. Although we have adopted internal procedures to monitor content and to remove offending content once we become aware of any potential or alleged violation, we may not be able to identify all the content that may violate relevant laws and regulations or third-party intellectual property rights. Even if we manage to identify and remove offensive content, we may still be held liable.

 

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If we fail to obtain and maintain the requisite licenses and approvals required under the complex regulatory environment applicable to our businesses in China, or if we are required to take compliance actions that are time-consuming or costly, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

The internet and mobile industries in China are highly regulated. Beijing Momo and its subsidiary are required to obtain and maintain applicable licenses and approvals from different regulatory authorities in order to provide their current services. Under the current PRC regulatory scheme, a number of regulatory agencies, including but not limited to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, or SARFT, the Ministry of Culture, or MOC, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, or MIIT, and the State Council Information Office, or SCIO, jointly regulate all major aspects of the internet industry, including the mobile internet and mobile games businesses. Operators must obtain various government approvals and licenses for relevant mobile business.

We have obtained the ICP licenses for provision of internet information services and Online Culture Operating Licenses for operation of online games. These licenses are essential to the operation of our business and are generally subject to regular government review or renewal. However, we cannot assure you that we can successfully renew these licenses in a timely manner or that these licenses are sufficient to conduct all of our present or future business.

We are also required to obtain an Internet Publishing License from SARFT in order to publish online games through the mobile networks. As of the date of this prospectus, we have yet to obtain an Internet Publishing License, and are in the process of preparing the application documents. Each mobile game is also required to be approved by SARFT prior to the commencement of its operations in China. As of the date of this prospectus, we have obtained an approval from the SARFT for one game, and we are still in the process of applying with the SARFT for the approvals of the remaining games. In the event of any failure to meet the above-mentioned requirements, we may no longer be able to offer games on our platform, which would have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations. All domestic online games must be filed with the MOC within 30 days after operation, and all imported online games must be approved by the MOC. As of the date of this prospectus, three of the 11 online games we offer have completed the filing with the MOC. If we fail to complete, obtain or maintain any of the required licenses or approvals or make the necessary filings, we may be subject to various penalties, such as confiscation of the net revenues that were generated through online games, the imposition of fines and the discontinuation or restriction of our operations of online games.

Considerable uncertainties exist regarding the interpretation and implementation of existing and future laws and regulations governing our business activities. We cannot assure you that we will not be found in violation of any future laws and regulations or any of the laws and regulations currently in effect due to changes in the relevant authorities’ interpretation of these laws and regulations. If we fail to complete, obtain or maintain any of the required licenses or approvals or make the necessary filings, we may be subject to various penalties, such as confiscation of the net revenues that were generated through the unlicensed internet or mobile activities, the imposition of fines and the discontinuation or restriction of our operations. Any such penalties may disrupt our business operations and materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Adverse changes in economic and political policies of the PRC government could have a material and adverse effect on overall economic growth in China, which could materially and adversely affect our business.

Our revenues are substantially sourced from China. Accordingly, our results of operations, financial condition and prospects are influenced by economic, political and legal developments in China. Economic reforms begun in the late 1970s have resulted in significant economic growth. However, any economic reform policies or measures in China may from time to time be modified or revised. China’s economy differs from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including with respect to the amount of government involvement, level of development, growth rate, control of foreign exchange and allocation of resources. While the PRC economy has experienced significant growth in the past 30 years, growth has been uneven across different regions and between economic sectors. The PRC government exercises significant control over China’s

 

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economic growth through strategically allocating resources, controlling the payment of foreign currency-denominated obligations, setting monetary policy and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies. Although the Chinese economy has grown significantly in the past decade, that growth may not continue, as evidenced by the slowing of the growth of the Chinese economy since 2012. Any adverse changes in economic conditions in China, in the policies of the Chinese government or in the laws and regulations in China could have a material adverse effect on the overall economic growth of China. Such developments could adversely affect our business and operating results, lead to reduction in demand for our services and adversely affect our competitive position.

Under the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law, we may be classified as a PRC “resident enterprise,” which could result in unfavorable tax consequences to us and our shareholders and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and the value of your investment.

Under the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law, or the EIT Law, which became effective on January 1, 2008, an enterprise established outside the PRC with “de facto management bodies” within the PRC is considered a “resident enterprise” for PRC enterprise income tax purposes and is generally subject to a uniform 25% enterprise income tax rate on its worldwide income. In 2009, the State Administration of Taxation, or the SAT, issued the Notice Regarding the Determination of Chinese-Controlled Overseas Incorporated Enterprises as PRC Tax Resident Enterprise on the Basis of De Facto Management Bodies, or SAT Circular 82, which provides certain specific criteria for determining whether the “de facto management body” of a PRC-controlled enterprise that is incorporated offshore is located in China. Further to SAT Circular 82, on July 27, 2011, the SAT issued the Administrative Measures for Enterprise Income Tax of Chinese-Controlled Offshore Incorporated Resident Enterprises (Trial), or SAT Bulletin 45, to provide more guidance on the implementation of SAT Circular 82; the bulletin became effective on September 1, 2011. SAT Bulletin 45 clarified certain issues in the areas of resident status determination, post-determination administration and competent tax authorities’ procedures.

According to SAT Circular 82, an offshore incorporated enterprise controlled by a PRC enterprise or a PRC enterprise group will be considered as a PRC tax resident enterprise by virtue of having its “de facto management body” in China and will be subject to PRC enterprise income tax on its worldwide income only if all of the following conditions are met: (a) the senior management and core management departments in charge of its daily operations function have their presence mainly in the PRC; (b) its financial and human resources decisions are subject to determination or approval by persons or bodies in the PRC; (c) its major assets, accounting books, company seals, and minutes and files of its board and shareholders’ meetings are located or kept in the PRC; and (d) more than half of the enterprise’s directors or senior management with voting rights habitually reside in the PRC. SAT Bulletin 45 specifies that when provided with a copy of Chinese tax resident determination certificate from a resident Chinese controlled offshore incorporated enterprise, the payer should not withhold 10% income tax when paying the Chinese-sourced dividends, interest, royalties, etc. to the Chinese controlled offshore incorporated enterprise.

Although SAT Circular 82 and SAT Bulletin 45 only apply to offshore incorporated enterprises controlled by PRC enterprises or PRC enterprise groups and not those controlled by PRC individuals or foreigners, the determination criteria set forth therein may reflect the SAT’s general position on how the term “de facto management body” could be applied in determining the tax resident status of offshore enterprises, regardless of whether they are controlled by PRC enterprises, individuals or foreigners.

If the PRC tax authorities determine that we or any of our non-PRC subsidiaries is a PRC resident enterprise for PRC enterprise income tax purposes, then we or any such non-PRC subsidiary could be subject to PRC tax at a rate of 25% on its world-wide income, which could materially reduce our net income. In addition, we will also be subject to PRC enterprise income tax reporting obligations.

If the PRC tax authorities determine that our company is a PRC resident enterprise for PRC enterprise income tax purposes, gains realized on the sale or other disposition of ADSs or ordinary shares may be subject to PRC tax, at a rate of 10% in the case of non-PRC enterprises or 20% in the case of non-PRC individuals (in each case, subject to the provisions of any applicable tax treaty), if such gains are deemed to be from PRC sources. Any such tax may reduce the returns on your investment in the ADSs.

 

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We face uncertainty with respect to indirect transfer of equity interests in PRC resident enterprises by their non-PRC holding companies.

We face uncertainties regarding the reporting on and consequences of previous private equity financing transactions involving the transfer and exchange of shares in our company by non-resident investors. According to the Notice on Strengthening Administration of Enterprise Income Tax for Share Transfers by Non-PRC Resident Enterprises issued by the PRC State Administration of Taxation on December 10, 2009, with retroactive effect from January 1, 2008, or SAT Circular 698, where a non-resident enterprise transfers the equity interests in a PRC resident enterprise indirectly through a disposition of equity interests in an overseas holding company (other than a purchase and sale of shares issued by a PRC resident enterprise in public securities market), or an Indirect Transfer, and such overseas holding company is located in a tax jurisdiction that: (a) has an effective tax rate less than 12.5% or (b) does not tax foreign income of its residents, the non-resident enterprise, as the seller, shall report such Indirect Transfer to the competent tax authority of the PRC resident enterprise within 30 days of execution of the equity transfer agreement for such Indirect Transfer. The PRC tax authority will examine the true nature of the Indirect Transfer, and if the tax authority considers that the foreign investor has adopted an abusive arrangement without reasonable commercial purposes and for the purpose of avoiding or reducing PRC tax, they will disregard the existence of the overseas holding company that is used for tax planning purposes and re-characterize the Indirect Transfer. As a result, gains derived from such Indirect Transfer may be subject to PRC withholding tax at the rate of up to 10%. SAT Circular 698 also points out that when a non-resident enterprise transfers its equity interests in a PRC resident enterprise to its related parties at a price lower than the fair market value, the competent tax authorities have the power to make a reasonable adjustment on the taxable income of the transaction.

China’s M&A Rules and certain other PRC regulations establish complex procedures for some acquisitions of Chinese companies by foreign investors, which could make it more difficult for us to pursue growth through acquisitions in China.

The Regulations on Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, or the M&A Rules, and other recently adopted regulations and rules concerning mergers and acquisitions established additional procedures and requirements that could make merger and acquisition activities by foreign investors more time consuming and complex. For example, the M&A Rules require that MOFCOM be notified in advance of any change-of-control transaction in which a foreign investor takes control of a PRC domestic enterprise, if (i) any important industry is concerned, (ii) such transaction involves factors that impact or may impact national economic security, or (iii) such transaction will lead to a change in control of a domestic enterprise which holds a famous trademark or PRC time-honored brand. Moreover, the Anti-Monopoly Law promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on August 30, 2007 and effective as of August 1, 2008 requires that transactions which are deemed concentrations and involve parties with specified turnover thresholds (i.e., during the previous fiscal year, (i) the total global turnover of all operators participating in the transaction exceeds RMB10 billion and at least two of these operators each had a turnover of more than RMB400 million within China, or (ii) the total turnover within China of all the operators participating in the concentration exceeded RMB2 billion, and at least two of these operators each had a turnover of more than RMB400 million within China) must be cleared by MOFCOM before they can be completed. In addition, on February 3, 2011, the General Office of the State Council promulgated a Notice on Establishing the Security Review System for Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, or the Circular 6, which officially established a security review system for mergers and acquisitions of domestic enterprises by foreign investors. Further, on August 25, 2011, MOFCOM promulgated the Regulations on Implementation of Security Review System for the Merger and Acquisition of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, or the MOFCOM Security Review Regulations, which became effective on September 1, 2011, to implement the Circular 6. Under Circular 6, a security review is required for mergers and acquisitions by foreign investors having “national defense and security” concerns and mergers and acquisitions by which foreign investors may acquire the “de facto control” of domestic enterprises with “national security” concerns. Under the MOFCOM Security Review Regulations, MOFCOM will focus on the substance and actual impact of the transaction when deciding whether a specific merger or acquisition is subject to security review. If MOFCOM decides that a specific merger or acquisition is subject to security review, it will submit it to the Inter-

 

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Ministerial Panel, an authority established under the Circular 6 led by the National Development and Reform Commission, or NDRC, and MOFCOM under the leadership of the State Council, to carry out security review. The regulations prohibit foreign investors from bypassing the security review by structuring transactions through trusts, indirect investments, leases, loans, control through contractual arrangements or offshore transactions. There is no explicit provision or official interpretation stating that the merging or acquisition of a company engaged in the mobile games business requires security review, and there is no requirement that acquisitions completed prior to the promulgation of the Security Review Circular are subject to MOFCOM review.

In the future, we may grow our business by acquiring complementary businesses. Complying with the requirements of the above-mentioned regulations and other relevant rules to complete such transactions could be time consuming, and any required approval processes, including obtaining approval from the MOFCOM or its local counterparts may delay or inhibit our ability to complete such transactions. It is unclear whether our business would be deemed to be in an industry that raises “national defense and security” or “national security” concerns. However, MOFCOM or other government agencies may publish explanations in the future determining that our business is in an industry subject to the security review, in which case our future acquisitions in the PRC, including those by way of entering into contractual control arrangements with target entities, may be closely scrutinized or prohibited.

PRC regulations relating to offshore investment activities by PRC residents may limit our PRC subsidiary’s ability to increase their registered capital or distribute profits to us or otherwise expose us to liability and penalties under PRC law.

The SAFE promulgated the Circular on Relevant Issues Relating to Domestic Resident’s Investment and Financing and Roundtrip Investment through Special Purpose Vehicles, or SAFE Circular 37, in July 2014 that requires PRC residents or entities to register with SAFE or its local branch in connection with their establishment or control of an offshore entity established for the purpose of overseas investment or financing. In addition, such PRC residents or entities must update their SAFE registrations when the offshore special purpose vehicle undergoes material events relating to any change of basic information (including change of such PRC citizens or residents, name and operation term), increases or decreases in investment amount, transfers or exchanges of shares, or mergers or divisions.

SAFE Circular 37 is issued to replace the Notice on Relevant Issues Concerning Foreign Exchange Administration for PRC Residents Engaging in Financing and Roundtrip Investments via Overseas Special Purpose Vehicles, or SAFE Circular 75.

If our shareholders who are PRC residents or entities do not complete their registration with the local SAFE branches, our PRC subsidiary may be prohibited from distributing their profits and proceeds from any reduction in capital, share transfer or liquidation to us, and we may be restricted in our ability to contribute additional capital to our PRC subsidiary. Moreover, failure to comply with the SAFE registration described above could result in liability under PRC laws for evasion of applicable foreign exchange restrictions.

Messrs. Yan Tang, Yong Li, Xiaoliang Lei and Zhiwei Li have completed SAFE registration in connection with our financings and share transfer.

However, we cannot compel our beneficial owners to comply with SAFE registration requirements. As a result, we cannot assure you that all of our shareholders or beneficial owners who are PRC residents or entities have complied with, and will in the future make or obtain any applicable registrations or approvals required by, SAFE regulations. Failure by such shareholders or beneficial owners to comply with SAFE regulations, or failure by us to amend the foreign exchange registrations of our PRC subsidiary, could subject us to fines or legal sanctions, restrict our overseas or cross-border investment activities, limit our subsidiaries’ ability to make distributions or pay dividends or affect our ownership structure, which could adversely affect our business and prospects.

 

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Failure to comply with PRC regulations regarding the registration requirements for employee stock ownership plans or share option plans may subject the PRC plan participants or us to fines and other legal or administrative sanctions.

On February 15, 2012, SAFE promulgated the Notices on Issues Concerning the Foreign Exchange Administration for Domestic Individuals Participating in Stock Incentive Plans of Overseas Publicly-Listed Companies, or the Stock Option Rules, which replaced the Application Procedures of Foreign Exchange Administration for Domestic Individuals Participating in Employee Stock Ownership Plans or Stock Option Plans of Overseas Publicly-Listed Companies issued by SAFE on March 28, 2007. Under the Stock Option Rules and other relevant rules and regulations, PRC residents who participate in stock incentive plan in an overseas publicly-listed company are required to register with SAFE or its local branches and complete certain other procedures. Participants of a stock incentive plan who are PRC residents must retain a qualified PRC agent, which could be a PRC subsidiary of such overseas publicly listed company or another qualified institution selected by such PRC subsidiary, to conduct the SAFE registration and other procedures with respect to the stock incentive plan on behalf of its participants. Such participants must also retain an overseas entrusted institution to handle matters in connection with their exercise of stock options, the purchase and sale of corresponding stocks or interests and fund transfers. In addition, the PRC agent is required to amend the SAFE registration with respect to the stock incentive plan if there is any material change to the stock incentive plan, the PRC agent or the overseas entrusted institution or other material changes. We and our PRC employees who have been granted stock options will be subject to these regulations upon the completion of this offering. Failure of our PRC stock option holders to complete their SAFE registrations may subject these PRC residents to fines and legal sanctions and may also limit our ability to contribute additional capital into our PRC subsidiary, limit our PRC subsidiary’s ability to distribute dividends to us, or otherwise materially adversely affect our business.

PRC regulation of loans to, and direct investment in, PRC entities by offshore holding companies and governmental control of currency conversion may restrict or prevent us from using the proceeds of our initial public offering to make loans to our PRC subsidiary and consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary, or to make additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiary.

We are an offshore holding company conducting our operations in China through our PRC subsidiary and consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary. We may make loans to our PRC subsidiary and consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary, or we may make additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiary, or we may establish new PRC subsidiaries and make capital contributions to these new PRC subsidiaries, or we may acquire offshore entities with business operations in China in an offshore transaction.

Most of these ways are subject to PRC regulations and approvals. For example, loans by us to our wholly owned PRC subsidiary to finance their activities cannot exceed statutory limits and must be registered with the local counterpart of SAFE. If we decide to finance our wholly owned PRC subsidiaries by means of capital contributions, these capital contributions must be approved by the MOFCOM or its local counterpart. Due to the restrictions imposed on loans in foreign currencies extended to any PRC domestic companies, we are not likely to make such loans to Beijing Momo, which is PRC domestic company. Further, we are not likely to finance the activities of Beijing Momo by means of capital contributions due to regulatory restrictions relating to foreign investment in PRC domestic enterprises engaged in mobile internet services, online games and related businesses.

On August 29, 2008, SAFE promulgated the Circular on the Relevant Operating Issues Concerning the Improvement of the Administration of the Payment and Settlement of Foreign Currency Capital of Foreign-Invested Enterprises, or SAFE Circular 142, regulating the conversion by a foreign-invested enterprise of foreign currency registered capital into Renminbi by restricting how the converted Renminbi may be used. SAFE Circular 142 provides that Renminbi capital converted from foreign currency registered capital of a foreign-invested enterprise may only be used for purposes within the business scope approved by the applicable governmental authority and may not be used for equity investments within the PRC. In addition, SAFE strengthened its oversight of the flow and use of the Renminbi capital converted from the foreign currency registered capital of a foreign-invested company. The use of such Renminbi capital may not be altered without

 

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SAFE approval, and such Renminbi capital may not in any case be used to repay Renminbi loans if the proceeds of such loans have not been used. Violations of SAFE Circular 142 could result in severe monetary or other penalties. Furthermore, SAFE promulgated a circular on November 9, 2010, known as Circular No. 59, which tightens the examination of the authenticity of settlement of net proceeds from our initial public offering. SAFE further promulgated the Circular on Further Clarification and Regulation of the Issues Concerning the Administration of Certain Capital Account Foreign Exchange Businesses, or Circular 45, on November 9, 2011, which expressly prohibits foreign-invested enterprises from using registered capital settled in Renminbi converted from foreign currencies to grant loans through entrustment arrangements with a bank, repay inter-company loans or repay bank loans that have been transferred to a third party. Circular 142, Circular 59 and Circular 45 may significantly limit our ability to transfer the net proceeds from this offering to our PRC subsidiary and to convert such proceeds into Renminbi, which may adversely affect our liquidity and our ability to fund and expand our business in the PRC.

In light of the various requirements imposed by PRC regulations on loans to and direct investment in PRC entities by offshore holding companies, including SAFE Circular 142, we cannot assure you that we will be able to complete the necessary government registrations or obtain the necessary government approvals on a timely basis, if at all, with respect to future loans by us to our PRC subsidiary or with respect to future capital contributions by us to our PRC subsidiary. If we fail to complete such registrations or obtain such approvals, our ability to use the proceeds we received from our initial public offering and to capitalize or otherwise fund our PRC operations may be negatively affected, which could materially and adversely affect our liquidity and our ability to fund and expand our business.

Fluctuation in the value of the RMB may have a material adverse effect on the value of your investment.

The value of the RMB against the U.S. dollar and other currencies is affected by changes in China’s political and economic conditions and China’s foreign exchange policies, among other things. On July 21, 2005, the PRC government changed its decades-old policy of pegging the value of the RMB to the U.S. dollar, and the RMB appreciated more than 20% against the U.S. dollar over the following three years. Between July 2008 and June 2010, this appreciation halted and the exchange rate between the RMB and the U.S. dollar remained within a narrow band. The PRC government has allowed the RMB to appreciate slowly against the U.S. dollar again, and it has appreciated more than 10% since June 2010, though there also have been periods when it depreciated against the U.S. dollar. It is difficult to predict how market forces or PRC or U.S. government policy may impact the exchange rate between the RMB and the U.S. dollar in the future. In addition, there remains significant international pressure on the PRC government to adopt a substantial liberalization of its currency policy, which could result in further appreciation in the value of the RMB against the U.S. dollar.

Our revenues and costs are mostly denominated in RMB, whereas our reporting currency is the U.S. dollar. Any significant depreciation of the RMB may materially and adversely affect our revenues, earnings and financial position as reported in U.S. dollars. To the extent that we need to convert U.S. dollars we received from this offering into RMB for our operations, appreciation of the RMB against the U.S. dollar would have an adverse effect on the RMB amount we would receive from the conversion. Conversely, if we decide to convert our RMB into U.S. dollars for the purpose of making payments for dividends on our ordinary shares or ADSs or for other business purposes, appreciation of the U.S. dollar against the RMB would have a negative effect on the U.S. dollar amount available to us.

Our leased property interests may be defective and our right to lease the properties affected by such defects may be challenged, which could cause significant disruption to our business.

Under PRC laws, all lease agreements are required to be registered with the local housing authorities. We presently lease three premises in China, and the landlords of these premises have not completed the registration of their ownership rights or the registration of our leases with the relevant authorities. Failure to complete these required registrations may expose our landlords, lessors and us to potential monetary fines. If these registrations are not obtained in a timely manner or at all, we may be subject to monetary fines or may have to relocate our offices and incur the associated losses.

 

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The audit report included in this prospectus is prepared by an auditor who is not inspected by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and, as such, you are deprived of the benefits of such inspection.

Our independent registered public accounting firm that issues the audit reports included in our prospectus filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, as auditors of companies that are traded publicly in the United States and a firm registered with the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (“the “PCAOB”), is required by the laws of the United States to undergo regular inspections by the PCAOB to assess its compliance with the laws of the United States and professional standards. Because our auditors are located in the Peoples’ Republic of China, a jurisdiction where the PCAOB is currently unable to conduct inspections without the approval of the Chinese authorities, our auditors are not currently inspected by the PCAOB.

Inspections of other firms that the PCAOB has conducted outside China have identified deficiencies in those firms’ audit procedures and quality control procedures, which may be addressed as part of the inspection process to improve future audit quality. This lack of PCAOB inspections in China prevents the PCAOB from regularly evaluating our auditor’s audits and its quality control procedures. As a result, investors may be deprived of the benefits of PCAOB inspections.

The inability of the PCAOB to conduct inspections of auditors in China makes it more difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of our auditor’s audit procedures or quality control procedures as compared to auditors outside of China that are subject to PCAOB inspections. Investors may lose confidence in our reported financial information and procedures and the quality of our financial statements.

Proceedings instituted by the SEC against five PRC-based accounting firms, including our independent registered public accounting firm, could result in financial statements being determined to not be in compliance with the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act.

In late 2012, the SEC commenced administrative proceedings under Rule 102(e) of its Rules of Practice and also under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 against the Chinese affiliates of the ‘‘big four’’ accounting firms (including our auditors) and also against Dahua (the former BDO affiliate in China). The Rule 102(e) proceedings initiated by the SEC relate to these firms’ inability to produce documents, including audit work papers, in response to the request of the SEC pursuant to Section 106 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as the auditors located in the PRC are not in a position lawfully to produce documents directly to the SEC because of restrictions under PRC law and specific directives issued by the China Securities Regulatory Commission. The issues raised by the proceedings are not specific to our auditors or to us, but affect equally all audit firms based in China and all China-based businesses with securities listed in the United States.

In January 2014, the administrative judge reached an Initial Decision that the “big four” accounting firms should be barred from practicing before the Commission for six months. However, it is currently impossible to determine the ultimate outcome of this matter as the accounting firms have filed a Petition for Review of the Initial Decision and pending that review the effect of the Initial Decision is suspended. The SEC Commissioners will review the Initial Decision, determine whether there has been any violation and, if so, determine the appropriate remedy to be placed on these audit firms. Once such an order was made, the accounting firms would have a further right to appeal to the US Federal courts, and the effect of the order might be further stayed pending the outcome of that appeal.

Depending upon the final outcome, listed companies in the United States with major PRC operations may find it difficult or impossible to retain auditors in respect of their operations in the PRC, which could result in financial statements being determined to not be in compliance with the requirements of the Exchange Act, including possible delisting. Moreover, any negative news about the proceedings against these audit firms may cause investor uncertainty regarding China-based, United States-listed companies and the market price of our ADSs may be adversely affected.

 

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Risks Related to Our ADSs and This Offering

An active trading market for our Class A ordinary shares or our ADSs may not develop and the trading price for our ADSs may fluctuate significantly.

Our ADSs have been approved for listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. Prior to the completion of this offering, there has been no public market for our ADSs or our ordinary shares, and we cannot assure you that a liquid public market for our ADSs will develop. If an active public market for our ADSs does not develop following the completion of this offering, the market price and liquidity of our ADSs may be materially and adversely affected. The initial public offering price for our ADSs was determined by negotiation between us and the underwriters based upon several factors, and we can provide no assurance that the trading price of our ADSs after this offering will not decline below the initial public offering price. As a result, investors in our securities may experience a significant decrease in the value of their ADSs.

The trading price of our ADSs is likely to be volatile, which could result in substantial losses to investors.

The trading price of our ADSs is likely to be volatile and could fluctuate widely due to factors beyond our control. This may happen because of broad market and industry factors, like the performance and fluctuation of the market prices of other companies with business operations located mainly in China that have listed their securities in the United States. A number of Chinese companies have listed or are in the process of listing their securities on U.S. stock markets. The securities of some of these companies have experienced significant volatility, including price declines in connection with their initial public offerings. The trading performances of these Chinese companies’ securities after their offerings may affect the attitudes of investors toward Chinese companies listed in the United States in general and consequently may impact the trading performance of our ADSs, regardless of our actual operating performance.

In addition to market and industry factors, the price and trading volume for our ADSs may be highly volatile for factors specific to our own operations, including the following:

 

    variations in our revenues, earnings, cash flow and data related to our user base or user engagement;

 

    announcements of new investments, acquisitions, strategic partnerships or joint ventures by us or our competitors;

 

    announcements of new products, services and expansions by us or our competitors;

 

    changes in financial estimates by securities analysts;

 

    detrimental adverse publicity about us, our services or our industry;

 

    additions or departures of key personnel;

 

    release of lock-up or other transfer restrictions on our outstanding equity securities or sales of additional equity securities; and

 

    potential litigation or regulatory investigations.

Any of these factors may result in large and sudden changes in the volume and price at which our ADSs will trade.

In the past, shareholders of public companies have often brought securities class action suits against those companies following periods of instability in the market price of their securities. If we were involved in a class action suit, it could divert a significant amount of our management’s attention and other resources from our business and operations and require us to incur significant expenses to defend the suit, which could harm our results of operations. Any such class action suit, whether or not successful, could harm our reputation and restrict our ability to raise capital in the future. In addition, if a claim is successfully made against us, we may be required to pay significant damages, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

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If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or reports about our business, or if they adversely change their recommendations regarding our ADSs, the market price for our ADSs and trading volume could decline.

The trading market for our ADSs will be influenced by research or reports that industry or securities analysts publish about our business. If one or more analysts who cover us downgrade our ADSs, the market price for our ADSs would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts cease to cover us or fail to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause the market price or trading volume for our ADSs to decline.

The sale or availability for sale of substantial amounts of our ADSs could adversely affect their market price.

Sales of substantial amounts of our ADSs in the public market after the completion of this offering, or the perception that these sales could occur, could adversely affect the market price of our ADSs and could materially impair our ability to raise capital through equity offerings in the future. The ADSs sold in this offering will be freely tradable without restriction or further registration under the Securities Act, and shares held by our existing shareholders may also be sold in the public market in the future subject to the restrictions in Rule 144 and Rule 701 under the Securities Act and the applicable lock-up agreements. There will be 16,000,000 ADSs (equivalent to 32,000,000 Class A ordinary shares) outstanding immediately after this offering, or 18,400,000 ADSs (equivalent to 36,800,000 Class A ordinary shares) if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional ADSs in full. In connection with this offering, we and our officers, directors, existing shareholders, certain option holders and the Concurrent Private Placement investors have agreed not to sell any ordinary shares or ADSs for 180 days after the date of this prospectus without the prior written consent of the underwriters, subject to certain exceptions. However, the underwriters may release these securities from these restrictions at any time, subject to applicable regulations of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. We cannot predict what effect, if any, market sales of securities held by our significant shareholders or any other shareholder or the availability of these securities for future sale will have on the market price of our ADSs. See “Underwriting” and “Shares Eligible for Future Sale” for a more detailed description of the restrictions on selling our securities after this offering.

Because we do not expect to pay dividends in the foreseeable future after this offering, you must rely on price appreciation of our ADSs for return on your investment.

We currently intend to retain most, if not all, of our available funds and any future earnings after this offering to fund the development and growth of our business. As a result, we do not expect to pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Therefore, you should not rely on an investment in our ADSs as a source for any future dividend income.

Our board of directors has complete discretion as to whether to distribute dividends. Even if our board of directors decides to declare and pay dividends, the timing, amount and form of future dividends, if any, will depend on, among other things, our future results of operations and cash flow, our capital requirements and surplus, the amount of distributions, if any, received by us from our subsidiary, our financial condition, contractual restrictions and other factors deemed relevant by our board of directors. Accordingly, the return on your investment in our ADSs will likely depend entirely upon any future price appreciation of our ADSs. There is no guarantee that our ADSs will appreciate in value after this offering or even maintain the price at which you purchased the ADSs. You may not realize a return on your investment in our ADSs and you may even lose your entire investment in our ADSs.

Substantial future sales or the expectation of substantial sales of our ADSs in the public market could cause the price of our ADSs to decline.

Sales of our ADSs in the public market after this offering, or the perception that these sales could occur, could cause the market price of our ADSs to decline. Upon completion of this offering, we will have 372,956,110 ordinary shares outstanding, including 16,000,000 Class A ordinary shares represented by ADSs and 96,886,370 Class B ordinary shares, assuming the underwriters do not exercise their over-allotment option to purchase

 

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additional ADSs. All ADSs sold in this offering will be freely transferable without restriction or additional registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act. The remaining Class A ordinary shares and all the Class B ordinary shares outstanding after this offering will be available for sale in the form of ADSs upon the expiration of the 180-day lock-up period beginning from the date of this prospectus, subject to volume and other restrictions as applicable under Rule 144 and Rule 701 under the Securities Act. Any or all of these shares may be released prior to expiration of the lock-up period at the discretion of the underwriters. To the extent shares are released before the expiration of the lock-up period and these shares are sold into the market, the market price of our ADSs could decline.

Mr. Yan Tang, our co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer, has considerable influence over important corporate matters. Our dual-class voting structure will limit your ability to influence corporate matters and could discourage others from pursuing any change of control transactions that holders of our Class A ordinary shares and ADSs may view as beneficial.

Mr. Yan Tang, our co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer, has considerable influence over important corporate matters. As of the date of this prospectus, Mr. Tang beneficially owns a total of 76.6% of the aggregate voting power of our company, including (i) 56.5% of the aggregate voting power of our company through Gallant Future Holdings Limited, a company 100% beneficially owned by Mr. Tang through a family trust, and (ii) 20.1% of the aggregate voting power of our company underlying the total ordinary shares held by the BVI companies 100% beneficially owned by the other three co-founders, including Mr. Yong Li, Mr. Xiaoliang Lei and Mr. Zhiwei Li, with respect to which the three co-founders have respectively granted Mr. Tang an irrevocable proxy to vote all those shares. The aforementioned shareholder proxies will terminate immediately upon the completion of this offering.

After this offering, Mr. Tang will continue to have considerable influence over matters requiring shareholder approval. Immediately prior to the completion of this offering, we expect to create a dual-class voting structure such that our ordinary shares will consist of Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares. Based on our proposed dual-class voting structure, holders of Class A ordinary shares will be entitled to one vote per share in respect of matters requiring the votes of shareholders, while holders of Class B ordinary shares will be entitled to ten votes per share. We will issue Class A ordinary shares represented by our ADSs in this offering. Immediately prior to the completion of this offering, we expect that an aggregate of 96,886,370 ordinary shares held by Gallant Future Holdings Limited will be automatically re-designated as Class B ordinary shares on a one-for-one basis, and all preferred shares and all other outstanding ordinary shares will be re-designated as Class A ordinary shares on a one-for-one basis. Each Class B ordinary share is convertible into one Class A ordinary share at any time by the holder thereof, while Class A ordinary shares are not convertible into Class B ordinary shares under any circumstances. Due to the disparate voting powers associated with our two classes of ordinary shares, we anticipate that Mr. Tang will beneficially own 78.0% of the aggregate voting power of our company immediately after the completion of this offering, assuming the underwriters do not exercise their over-allotment option to purchase additional ADSs. As a result, Mr. Tang will have considerable influence over matters such as electing directors and approving material mergers, acquisitions or other business combination transactions. This concentrated control will limit your ability to influence corporate matters and could also discourage others from pursuing any potential merger, takeover or other change of control transactions, which could have the effect of depriving the holders of our Class A ordinary shares and our ADSs of the opportunity to sell their shares at a premium over the prevailing market price.

Because the initial public offering price is substantially higher than the pro forma net tangible book value per share, you will experience immediate and substantial dilution.

If you purchase ADSs in this offering, you will pay more for each ADS than the corresponding amount paid by existing shareholders for their ordinary shares. As a result, you will experience immediate and substantial

 

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dilution of US$11.30 per ADS (assuming that no outstanding options to acquire ordinary shares are exercised). This number represents the difference between the initial public offering price of US$13.50 per ADS and our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per ADS of US$2.20 as of September 30, 2014, after giving effect to this offering and the Concurrent Private Placement. See “Dilution” for a more complete description of how the value of your investment in our ADSs will be diluted upon the completion of this offering.

We have not determined a specific use for a portion of the net proceeds from this offering and the Concurrent Private Placement, and we may use these proceeds in ways with which you may not agree.

We have not determined a specific use for a portion of the net proceeds of this offering and the Concurrent Private Placement, and our management will have considerable discretion in deciding how to apply these proceeds. You will not have the opportunity to assess whether the proceeds are being used appropriately before you make your investment decision. You must rely on the judgment of our management regarding the application of the net proceeds of this offering and the Concurrent Private Placement. We cannot assure you that the net proceeds will be used in a manner that would improve our results of operations or increase our ADS price, nor that these net proceeds will be placed only in investments that generate income or appreciate in value.

We may be classified as a passive foreign investment company under U.S. tax law, which could result in adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to U.S. holders of our ADSs.

Depending upon the value of our assets, which is determined based on the market value of our ADSs, and the nature of our assets and income over time, we could be classified as a passive foreign investment company, or PFIC, for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Based on our current income and assets and projections as to the value of our ADSs pursuant to this offering, we do not expect to be classified as a PFIC for the current taxable year or in the foreseeable future. While we do not anticipate becoming a PFIC for the current taxable year, fluctuations in the market price of our ADSs may cause us to become a PFIC for the current or any subsequent taxable year.

We will be classified as a PFIC for any taxable year if either (i) 75% or more of our gross income for the taxable year is passive income or (ii) 50% or more of the value of our assets (determined on the basis of a quarterly average) is attributable to assets that produce or are held for the production of passive income. Although the law in this regard is unclear, we treat Beijing Momo as being owned by us for U.S. federal income tax purposes, not only because we exercise effective control over the operation of this entity but also because we are entitled to substantially all of its economic benefits, and, as a result, we consolidate its results of operations in our consolidated U.S. GAAP financial statements. If it were determined, however, that we are not the owner of Beijing Momo for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we would likely be treated as a PFIC for our current taxable year and any subsequent taxable year. Because of the uncertainties in the application of the relevant rules and PFIC status is a factual determination made annually after the close of each taxable year on the basis of the composition of our income and the value of our active versus passive assets, there can be no assurance that we will not be a PFIC for current the taxable year or any future taxable year. The overall level of our passive assets will be affected by how, and how quickly, we spend our liquid assets and the cash raised in this offering. Under circumstances where we determine not to deploy significant amounts of cash for active purposes, our risk of becoming classified as a PFIC may substantially increase.

If we were to be or become classified as a PFIC, a U.S. Holder (as defined in “Taxation—Material United States Federal Income Tax Considerations—General”) will generally be subject to reporting requirements and may incur significantly increased U.S. federal income tax on gain recognized on the sale or other disposition of the ADSs or ordinary shares and on the receipt of distributions on the ADSs or ordinary shares to the extent such gain or distribution is treated as an “excess distribution” under the U.S. federal income tax rules. Further, if we

 

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were a PFIC for any year during which a U.S. Holder held our ADSs or ordinary shares, we generally would continue to be treated as a PFIC for all succeeding years during which such U.S. Holder held our ADSs or ordinary shares. You are urged to consult your tax advisor concerning the U.S. federal income tax consequences of acquiring, holding, and disposing of ADSs or ordinary shares if we are or become classified as a PFIC. For more information see “Taxation—United States Federal Income Tax Considerations—Passive Foreign Investment Company Considerations.”

The approval of the China Securities Regulatory Commission may be required in connection with this offering under PRC law.

The M&A Rules, which were adopted in 2006 by six PRC regulatory agencies, including the CSRC, purport to require offshore special purpose vehicles that are controlled by PRC companies or individuals and that have been formed for the purpose of seeking a public listing on an overseas stock exchange through acquisitions of PRC domestic companies or assets to obtain CSRC approval prior to publicly listing their securities on an overseas stock exchange. The interpretation and application of the regulations remain unclear, and this offering may ultimately require approval from the CSRC. If CSRC approval is required, it is uncertain how long it will take us to obtain the approval and any failure to obtain or delay in obtaining CSRC approval for this offering would subject us to sanctions imposed by the CSRC and other PRC regulatory agencies, which could include fines and penalties on our operations in China, restrictions or limitations on our ability to pay dividends outside of China, and other forms of sanctions that may materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our PRC counsel, Han Kun Law Offices, has advised us that, based on its understanding of the current PRC laws and regulations, we are not required to submit an application to the CSRC for the approval of the listing and trading of our ADSs on the NASDAQ Global Select Market because (i) the CSRC currently has not issued any definitive rule or interpretation concerning whether offerings like ours under this prospectus are subject to this regulation, and (ii) our wholly owned PRC subsidiary was established by foreign direct investment, rather than through a merger or acquisition of a domestic company as defined under the M&A Rules. However, we cannot assure you that relevant PRC government agencies, including the CSRC, would reach the same conclusion as our PRC counsel, and hence we may face regulatory actions or other sanctions from the CSRC or other PRC regulatory agencies. These regulatory agencies may impose fines and penalties on our operations in China, limit our operating privileges in China, delay or restrict the repatriation of the proceeds from this offering into China or take other actions that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects, as well as the trading price of the ADSs. The CSRC or other PRC regulatory agencies also may take actions requiring us, or making it advisable for us, to halt this offering before settlement and delivery of the ADSs offered hereby. Consequently, if you engage in market trading or other activities in anticipation of and prior to settlement and delivery, you do so at the risk that settlement and delivery may not occur. In addition, if the CSRC or other regulatory agencies later promulgate new rules or explanations requiring that we obtain their approvals for this offering, we may be unable to obtain a waiver of such approval requirements, if and when procedures are established to obtain such a waiver. Any uncertainties and/or negative publicity regarding such approval requirement could have a material adverse effect on the trading price of the ADSs.

Our memorandum and articles of association contain anti-takeover provisions that could have a material adverse effect on the rights of holders of our Class A ordinary shares and ADSs.

We have adopted amended and restated memorandum and articles of association that will become effective immediately prior to the completion of this offering. Our new memorandum and articles of association contain provisions to limit the ability of others to acquire control of our company or cause us to engage in change-of-control transactions. These provisions could have the effect of depriving our shareholders of an opportunity to sell their shares at a premium over prevailing market prices by discouraging third parties from seeking to obtain control of our company in a tender offer or similar transaction. Our proposed dual-class voting structure gives

 

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disproportionate voting power to the Class B ordinary shares to be held by Gallant Future Holdings Limited, a company 100% beneficially owned by Yan Tang, our co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer. We anticipate that Mr. Tang will beneficially own 78.0% of the aggregate voting power of our company immediately following the completion of this offering assuming the underwriters do not exercise their over-allotment option to purchase additional ADSs. In addition, our board of directors has the authority, without further action by our shareholders, to issue preferred shares in one or more series and to fix their designations, powers, preferences, privileges, and relative participating, optional or special rights and the qualifications, limitations or restrictions, including dividend rights, conversion rights, voting rights, terms of redemption and liquidation preferences, any or all of which may be greater than the rights associated with our Class A ordinary shares, in the form of ADS or otherwise. Preferred shares could be issued quickly with terms calculated to delay or prevent a change in control of our company or make removal of management more difficult. If our board of directors decides to issue preferred shares, the price of our ADSs may fall and the voting and other rights of the holders of our Class A ordinary shares and ADSs may be materially and adversely affected.

You may face difficulties in protecting your interests, and your ability to protect your rights through U.S. courts may be limited, because we are incorporated under Cayman Islands law.

We are an exempted company limited by shares registered under the laws of the Cayman Islands. Our corporate affairs are governed by our memorandum and articles of association, the Companies Law (2013 Revision) of the Cayman Islands and the common law of the Cayman Islands. The rights of shareholders to take action against the directors, actions by minority shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors to us under Cayman Islands law are to a large extent governed by the common law of the Cayman Islands. The common law of the Cayman Islands is derived in part from comparatively limited judicial precedent in the Cayman Islands as well as from the common law of England, the decisions of whose courts are of persuasive authority, but are not binding, on a court in the Cayman Islands. The rights of our shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors under Cayman Islands law are not as clearly established as they would be under statutes or judicial precedent in some jurisdictions in the United States. In particular, the Cayman Islands has a less developed body of securities laws than the United States. Some U.S. states, such as Delaware, have more fully developed and judicially interpreted bodies of corporate law than the Cayman Islands. In addition, Cayman Islands companies may not have standing to initiate a shareholder derivative action in a federal court of the United States.

Shareholders of Cayman Islands exempted companies like us have no general rights under Cayman Islands law to inspect corporate records or to obtain copies of lists of shareholders of these companies. Our directors have discretion under our articles of association to determine whether or not, and under what conditions, our corporate records may be inspected by our shareholders, but are not obliged to make them available to our shareholders. This may make it more difficult for you to obtain the information needed to establish any facts necessary for a shareholder motion or to solicit proxies from other shareholders in connection with a proxy contest.

Certain corporate governance practices in the Cayman Islands, which is our home country, differ significantly from requirements for companies incorporated in other jurisdictions such as the U.S. Currently, we do not plan to rely on home country practice with respect to any corporate governance matter. However, if we choose to follow home country practice in the future, our shareholders may be afforded less protection than they otherwise would under rules and regulations applicable to U.S. domestic issuers.

As a result of all of the above, public shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in the face of actions taken by management, members of the board of directors or controlling shareholders than they would as public shareholders of a company incorporated in the United States. For a discussion of significant differences between the provisions of the Companies Law of the Cayman Islands and the laws applicable to

 

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companies incorporated in the United States and their shareholders, see “Description of Share Capital—Differences in Corporate Law.”

Certain judgments obtained against us by our shareholders may not be enforceable.

We are a Cayman Islands company and all of our assets are located outside of the United States. Substantially all of our current operations are conducted in China. In addition, a majority of our current directors and officers are nationals and residents of countries other than the United States. Substantially all of the assets of these persons are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult or impossible for you to bring an action against us or against these individuals in the United States in the event that you believe that your rights have been infringed under the U.S. federal securities laws or otherwise. Even if you are successful in bringing an action of this kind, the laws of the Cayman Islands and of China may render you unable to enforce a judgment against our assets or the assets of our directors and officers. For more information regarding the relevant laws of the Cayman Islands and China, see “Enforceability of Civil Liabilities.”

We are an emerging growth company within the meaning of the Securities Act and may take advantage of certain reduced reporting requirements.

We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the JOBS Act, and we may take advantage of certain exemptions from requirements applicable to other public companies that are not emerging growth companies including, most significantly, not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 for so long as we are an emerging growth company until the fifth anniversary from the date of our initial listing.

The JOBS Act also provides that an emerging growth company does not need to comply with any new or revised financial accounting standards until such date that a private company is otherwise required to comply with such new or revised accounting standards. However, we have elected to “opt out” of this provision and, as a result, we will comply with new or revised accounting standards as required when they are adopted for public companies. This decision to opt out of the extended transition period under the JOBS Act is irrevocable.

We are a foreign private issuer within the meaning of the rules under the Exchange Act, and as such we are exempt from certain provisions applicable to United States domestic public companies.

Because we are a foreign private issuer under the Exchange Act, we are exempt from certain provisions of the securities rules and regulations in the United States that are applicable to U.S. domestic issuers, including:

 

    the rules under the Exchange Act requiring the filing of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q or current reports on Form 8-K with the SEC;

 

    the sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies, consents, or authorizations in respect of a security registered under the Exchange Act;

 

    the sections of the Exchange Act requiring insiders to file public reports of their stock ownership and trading activities and liability for insiders who profit from trades made in a short period of time; and

 

    the selective disclosure rules by issuers of material nonpublic information under Regulation FD.

We will be required to file an annual report on Form 20-F within four months of the end of each fiscal year. In addition, we intend to publish our results on a quarterly basis through press releases, distributed pursuant to the rules and regulations of the NASDAQ Global Select Market. Press releases relating to financial results and material events will also be furnished to the SEC on Form 6-K. However, the information we are required to file with or furnish to the SEC will be less extensive and less timely compared to that required to be filed with the SEC by U.S. domestic issuers. As a result, you may not be afforded the same protections or information, which would be made available to you, were you investing in a U.S. domestic issuer.

 

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The voting rights of holders of ADSs are limited by the terms of the deposit agreement, and you may not be able to exercise your right to vote your Class A ordinary shares.

As a holder of our ADSs, you will only be able to exercise the voting rights with respect to the underlying Class A ordinary shares in accordance with the provisions of the deposit agreement. Under the deposit agreement, you must vote by giving voting instructions to the depositary. Upon receipt of your voting instructions, the depositary will vote the underlying Class A ordinary shares in accordance with these instructions. You will not be able to directly exercise your right to vote with respect to the underlying shares unless you withdraw the shares. Under our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association that will become effective immediately prior to the completion of this offering, the minimum notice period required for convening a general meeting is 14 days. When a general meeting is convened, you may not receive sufficient advance notice to withdraw the shares underlying your ADSs to allow you to vote with respect to any specific matter. If we ask for your instructions, the depositary will notify you of the upcoming vote and will arrange to deliver our voting materials to you. We cannot assure you that you will receive the voting materials in time to ensure that you can instruct the depositary to vote your shares. In addition, the depositary and its agents are not responsible for failing to carry out voting instructions or for their manner of carrying out your voting instructions. This means that you may not be able to exercise your right to vote and you may have no legal remedy if the shares underlying your ADSs are not voted as you requested.

The depositary for our ADSs will give us a discretionary proxy to vote our Class A ordinary shares underlying your ADSs if you do not vote at shareholders’ meetings, except in limited circumstances, which could adversely affect your interests.

Under the deposit agreement for the ADSs, if you do not vote, the depositary will give us a discretionary proxy to vote our Class A ordinary shares underlying your ADSs at shareholders’ meetings unless:

 

    we have failed to timely provide the depositary with notice of meeting and related voting materials;

 

    we have instructed the depositary that we do not wish a discretionary proxy to be given;

 

    we have informed the depositary that there is substantial opposition as to a matter to be voted on at the meeting;

 

    a matter to be voted on at the meeting would have a material adverse impact on shareholders; or

 

    the voting at the meeting is to be made on a show of hands.

The effect of this discretionary proxy is that if you do not vote at shareholders’ meetings, you cannot prevent our Class A ordinary shares underlying your ADSs from being voted, except under the circumstances described above. This may make it more difficult for shareholders to influence the management of our company. Holders of our Class A ordinary shares are not subject to this discretionary proxy.

You may not receive dividends or other distributions on our Class A ordinary shares and you may not receive any value for them, if it is illegal or impractical to make them available to you.

The depositary of our ADSs has agreed to pay to you the cash dividends or other distributions it or the custodian receives on Class A ordinary shares or other deposited securities underlying our ADSs, after deducting its fees and expenses. You will receive these distributions in proportion to the number of Class A ordinary shares your ADSs represent. However, the depositary is not responsible if it decides that it is unlawful or impractical to make a distribution available to any holders of ADSs. For example, it would be unlawful to make a distribution to a holder of ADSs if it consists of securities that require registration under the Securities Act but that are not properly registered or distributed under an applicable exemption from registration. The depositary may also determine that it is not feasible to distribute certain property through the mail. Additionally, the value of certain distributions may be less than the cost of mailing them. In these cases, the depositary may determine not to distribute such property. We have no obligation to register under U.S. securities laws any ADSs, ordinary shares,

 

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rights or other securities received through such distributions. We also have no obligation to take any other action to permit the distribution of ADSs, ordinary shares, rights or anything else to holders of ADSs. This means that you may not receive distributions we make on our Class A ordinary shares or any value for them if it is illegal or impractical for us to make them available to you. These restrictions may cause a material decline in the value of our ADSs.

You may experience dilution of your holdings due to inability to participate in rights offerings.

We may, from time to time, distribute rights to our shareholders, including rights to acquire securities. Under the deposit agreement, the depositary will not distribute rights to holders of ADSs unless the distribution and sale of rights and the securities to which these rights relate are either exempt from registration under the Securities Act with respect to all holders of ADSs, or are registered under the provisions of the Securities Act. The depositary may, but is not required to, attempt to sell these undistributed rights to third parties, and may allow the rights to lapse. We may be unable to establish an exemption from registration under the Securities Act, and we are under no obligation to file a registration statement with respect to these rights or underlying securities or to endeavor to have a registration statement declared effective. Accordingly, holders of ADSs may be unable to participate in our rights offerings and may experience dilution of their holdings as a result.

You may be subject to limitations on transfer of your ADSs.

Your ADSs are transferable on the books of the depositary. However, the depositary may close its books at any time or from time to time when it deems expedient in connection with the performance of its duties. The depositary may close its books from time to time for a number of reasons, including in connection with corporate events such as a rights offering, during which time the depositary needs to maintain an exact number of ADS holders on its books for a specified period. The depositary may also close its books in emergencies, and on weekends and public holidays. The depositary may refuse to deliver, transfer or register transfers of our ADSs generally when our share register or the books of the depositary are closed, or at any time if we or the depositary thinks it is advisable to do so because of any requirement of law or of any government or governmental body, or under any provision of the deposit agreement, or for any other reason.

 

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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This prospectus contains forward-looking statements that reflect our current expectations and views of future events. The forward looking statements are contained principally in the sections entitled “Prospectus Summary,” “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Business.” Known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including those listed under “Risk Factors,” may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.

You can identify some of these forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “aim,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “is/are likely to,” “potential,” “continue” or other similar expressions. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. These forward-looking statements include statements relating to:

 

    our goals and strategies;

 

    our future business development, financial conditions and results of operations;

 

    the expected growth of mobile social networking platforms, mobile games and mobile marketing services in China;

 

    our expectations regarding demand for and market acceptance of our services;

 

    our expectations regarding our user base and level of user engagement;

 

    our plans to invest in our technology infrastructure;

 

    competition in our industry; and

 

    relevant government policies and regulations relating to our industry.

These forward-looking statements involve various risks and uncertainties. Although we believe that our expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, our expectations may later be found to be incorrect. Our actual results could be materially different from our expectations. Important risks and factors that could cause our actual results to be materially different from our expectations are generally set forth in “Prospectus Summary—Our Challenges,” “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” “Business,” “Regulation” and other sections in this prospectus. You should thoroughly read this prospectus and the documents that we refer to with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from and worse than what we expect. We qualify all of our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements.

This prospectus contains certain data and information that we obtained from various government and private publications. Statistical data in these publications also include projections based on a number of assumptions. The social networking platforms, mobile games and mobile marketing industries may not grow at the rate projected by market data, or at all. Failure of this market to grow at the projected rate may have a material and adverse effect on our business and the market price of our ADSs. In addition, the rapidly changing nature of the mobile social services industry results in significant uncertainties for any projections or estimates relating to the growth prospects or future condition of our market. Furthermore, if any one or more of the assumptions underlying the market data are later found to be incorrect, actual results may differ from the projections based on these assumptions. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements made in this prospectus relate only to events or information as of the date on which the statements are made in this prospectus. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date on which the statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. You should read this prospectus and the documents that we refer to in this prospectus and have filed as exhibits to the registration statement, of which this prospectus is a part, completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from what we expect.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

We estimate that we will receive net proceeds from this offering and the Concurrent Private Placement of approximately US$256.5 million, or approximately US$286.7 million if the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and the estimated offering expenses payable by us.

The primary purposes of this offering are to create a public market for our shares for the benefit of all shareholders, retain talented employees by providing them with equity incentives, and obtain additional capital. We plan to use the net proceeds of this offering and the Concurrent Private Placement as follows:

 

    approximately US$80.0 million for research and development activities, including enhancing our technology infrastructure;

 

    approximately US$100.0 million for sales and marketing activities; and

 

    the balance for capital expenditures and other general and administrative matters, which may include, among others, acquisitions of, or investments in, technologies, solutions or businesses that complement our business, although we have no present commitments or agreements to enter into any acquisitions or investments.

The foregoing represents our current intentions based upon our present plans and business conditions to use and allocate the net proceeds of this offering. Our management, however, will have significant flexibility and discretion to apply the net proceeds of this offering and the Concurrent Private Placement. If an unforeseen event occurs or business conditions change, we may use the proceeds of this offering and the Concurrent Private Placement differently than as described in this prospectus. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our ADSs and This Offering—We have not determined a specific use for a portion of the net proceeds from this offering and the Concurrent Private Placement, and we may use these proceeds in ways with which you may not agree.”

Pending any use described above, we plan to invest the net proceeds in short-term, interest-bearing, debt instruments or demand deposits.

In using the proceeds of this offering and the Concurrent Private Placement, we are permitted under PRC laws and regulations as an offshore holding company to provide funding to our PRC subsidiary only through loans or capital contributions and to Beijing Momo only through loans. Subject to satisfaction of applicable government registration and approval requirements, we may extend inter-company loans to our PRC subsidiary or make additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiary to fund their capital expenditures or working capital. We cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain these government registrations or approvals on a timely basis, if at all, which may delay or prevent us from providing the proceeds of this offering and the Concurrent Private Placement to our PRC subsidiaries. See “Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Doing Business in China—PRC regulation of loans to, and direct investment in, PRC entities by offshore holding companies and governmental control of currency conversion may restrict or prevent us from using the proceeds of our initial public offering to make loans to our PRC subsidiary and consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary, or to make additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiary.”

 

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DIVIDEND POLICY

Our board of directors has discretion on whether to distribute dividends, subject to certain restrictions under Cayman Islands law, namely that our company may only pay dividends out of profits or share premium, and provided always that it is able to pay its debts as they fall due in the ordinary course of business. Even if our board of directors decides to pay dividends, the form, frequency and amount will depend upon our future operations and earnings, capital requirements and surplus, general financial condition, contractual restrictions and other factors that the board of directors may deem relevant.

With shareholders’ approval, we declared a special dividend to certain holders of our ordinary shares in the amount of US$64.5 million in April 2014, among which US$58.0 million was paid. The special dividend was paid out of our share premium. See “Description of Share Capital—History of Securities Issuances—Preferred Shares.” We do not have any present plan to pay any cash dividends on our ordinary shares in the foreseeable future after this offering. We currently intend to retain most, if not all, of our available funds and any future earnings to operate and expand our business.

We are a holding company incorporated in the Cayman Islands. We may rely on dividends from our subsidiary in China for our cash requirements, including any payment of dividends to our shareholders. PRC regulations may restrict the ability of our PRC subsidiary to pay dividends to us. See “Regulation—Regulations Relating to Dividend Distribution” and “Regulation—Regulations Relating to Taxation.”

If we pay any dividends, we will pay our ADS holders to the same extent as holders of our ordinary shares, subject to the terms of the deposit agreement, including the fees and expenses payable thereunder. See “Description of American Depositary Shares.” Cash dividends on our Class A ordinary shares, if any, will be paid in U.S. dollars.

 

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CAPITALIZATION

The following table sets forth our capitalization as of September 30, 2014:

 

    on an actual basis;

 

    on a pro forma basis to reflect (i) the automatic re-designation of 96,886,370 ordinary shares held by Gallant Future Holdings Limited into Class B ordinary shares on a one-for-one basis immediately prior to the completion of this offering and (ii) the automatic re-designation of all of our remaining ordinary shares and the automatic conversion and re-designation of all of our Series A-1, Series A-2, Series A-3, Series B, Series C and Series D convertible redeemable preferred shares that are issued and outstanding into 235,180,852 Class A ordinary shares on a one-for-one basis immediately upon the completion of this offering.

 

    on a pro forma as adjusted basis to reflect (i) the automatic re-designation of 96,886,370 ordinary shares held by Gallant Future Holdings Limited into Class B ordinary shares on a one-for-one basis immediately prior to the completion of this offering, (ii) the automatic re-designation of all of our remaining ordinary shares and the automatic conversion and re-designation of all of our Series A-1, Series A-2, Series A-3, Series B, Series C and Series D convertible redeemable preferred shares that are issued and outstanding into 235,180,852 Class A ordinary shares on a one-for-one basis immediately upon completion of this offering; (iii) the sale of 32,000,000 Class A ordinary shares in the form of ADSs by us in this offering at the initial public offering price of US$13.50 per ADS, after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, assuming the underwriters do not exercise the over-allotment option and (iv) the issuance and sale of 8,888,888 Class A ordinary shares through the Concurrent Private Placement, with net proceeds of US$60.0 million to us.

You should read this table together with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus and the information under “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

 

    As of September 30, 2014  
    Actual     Unaudited
Pro Forma
    Pro Forma As
Adjusted
 
    (in US$ thousands)  

Mezzanine Equity

     

Series A-1 and Series A-2 convertible redeemable participating preferred shares ($0.0001 par value; 31,181,820 shares authorized, issued and outstanding)

    2,235        —          —     

Series A-3 convertible redeemable participating preferred shares ($0.0001 par value; 19,797,980 shares authorized, issued and outstanding)

    5,192        —          —     

Series B convertible redeemable participating preferred shares ($0.0001 par value; 70,037,013 shares authorized, issued and outstanding)

    29,285        —          —     

Series C convertible redeemable participating preferred shares ($0.0001 par value; 36,008,642 shares authorized, issued and outstanding)

    50,693        —          —     

Series D convertible redeemable participating preferred shares ($0.0001 par value; 43,693,356 shares authorized, issued and outstanding)

    223,309        —          —     

 

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     As of September 30, 2014  
     Actual     Unaudited
Pro Forma
    Pro Forma As
Adjusted
 
     (in US$ thousands)  

Equity

      

Ordinary shares ($0.0001 par value; 799,281,189 shares authorized, 131,348,411 shares issued and outstanding on an actual basis, 235,180,852 Class A ordinary shares and 96,886,370 Class B ordinary shares outstanding on a pro-forma basis, and 276,069,740 Class A ordinary shares and 96,886,370 Class B ordinary shares outstanding on a pro-forma as adjusted basis)

     15        35        39   

Treasury stock

     (64,494     (64,494     (64,494

Additional paid-in capital

     5,919        316,613        573,132   

Accumulated deficit

     (97,282     (97,282     (97,282

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

     (140     (140     (140
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total shareholders’ equity (deficit)

     (155,982     154,732        411,255   

Total liabilities, mezzanine equity and equity

   $ 184,867      $ 184,867        441,390   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

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DILUTION

If you invest in our ADSs, your interest will be diluted to the extent of the difference between the initial public offering price per ADS and our net tangible book value per ADS after this offering. Dilution results from the fact that the initial public offering price per ordinary share is substantially in excess of the book value per ordinary share attributable to the existing shareholders for our presently outstanding ordinary shares.

Our net tangible book value as of September 30, 2014 was approximately US$154.7 million, or US$1.18 per ordinary share as of that date and US$2.36 per ADS. Net tangible book value represents the amount of our total consolidated tangible assets, less the amount of our total consolidated liabilities. Dilution is determined by subtracting net tangible book value per ordinary share and preferred shares on an as-converted basis, after giving effect to (i) the additional proceeds we will receive from this offering, from the initial public offering price of US$6.75 per ordinary share, and after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us and (ii) the issuance and sale in the Concurrent Private Placement of 8,888,888 Class A ordinary shares, with net proceeds of US$60.0 million to us. Because the Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares have the same dividend and other rights, except for voting and conversion rights, the dilution is presented based on all ordinary shares, including Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares.

Without taking into account any other changes in net tangible book value after September 30, 2014, other than to give effect to (i) the automatic re-designation of 96,886,370 ordinary shares held by Gallant Future Holdings Limited into Class B ordinary shares on a one-for-one basis immediately prior to the completion of this offering, (ii) the automatic re-designation of all of our remaining ordinary shares and the automatic conversion and re-designation of all of our preferred shares that are issued and outstanding into Class A ordinary shares on a one-for-one basis immediately prior to the completion of this offering, (iii) our sale of the ADSs offered in this offering at the initial public offering price of US$13.50 per ADS, after deduction of the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, and (iv) the issuance and sale of 8,888,888 Class A ordinary shares through the Concurrent Private Placement, with net proceeds of US$60.0 million to us, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value as of September 30, 2014 would have been approximately US$411.3 million, or US$1.10 per ordinary share and US$2.20 per ADS. This represents an immediate increase in net tangible book value of US$0.63 per ordinary share and US$1.26 per ADS to the existing shareholders and an immediate dilution in net tangible book value of US$5.65 per ordinary share and US$11.30 per ADS to investors purchasing ADSs in this offering. The following table illustrates such dilution:

 

     Per Ordinary 
Share
     Per ADS  

The initial public offering price per Class A ordinary share

   US$ 6.75       US$ 13.50   

Net tangible book value as per ordinary share of September 30, 2014

   US$ 1.18       US$ 2.36   

Pro forma net tangible book value per ordinary share after giving effect to (i) the automatic re-designation of ordinary shares held by Gallant Future Holdings Limited into Class B ordinary shares and (ii) the automatic re-designation of our remaining ordinary shares and the automatic conversion and re-designation of our preferred shares into Class A ordinary shares

   US$ 0.47       US$ 0.94   

Pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per ordinary share after giving effect to (i) the automatic re-designation of ordinary shares held by Gallant Future Holdings Limited into Class B ordinary shares, (ii) the automatic re-designation of all of our remaining ordinary shares and the automatic conversion and re-designation of our preferred shares into Class A ordinary shares, (iii) the Concurrent Private Placement and (iv) this offering

   US$ 1.10       US$ 2.20   

Amount of dilution in net tangible book value per ordinary share to new investors in this offering

   US$ 5.65       US$ 11.30   

 

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The following table summarizes, on a pro forma as adjusted basis as of September 30, 2014, the differences between existing shareholders and the new investors with respect to the number of ordinary shares (in the form of ADSs or shares) purchased from us in this offering and the Concurrent Private Placement, the total consideration paid and the average price per ordinary share and per ADS paid before deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses. The total number of ordinary shares does not include Class A ordinary shares underlying the ADSs issuable upon the exercise of the over-allotment option granted to the underwriters.

 

     Ordinary Shares Purchased     Total Consideration     Average
Price Per
Ordinary
Share
     Average
Price Per
ADS
 
     Number      Percent     Amount
(in US$
thousands)
     Percent       

Existing shareholders

     332,067,222         89.0   US$ 280,525         50.4   US$ 0.84       US$ 1.68   

New investors

     40,888,888         11.0   US$ 276,000         49.6   US$ 6.75       US$ 13.50   
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

      

Total

     372,956,110         100.0   US$ 556,525         100.0     
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

      

The discussion and tables above assume no exercise of any outstanding share options outstanding as of the date of this prospectus. As of the date of this prospectus, there are 30,727,026 ordinary shares issuable upon exercise of outstanding share options at a weighted average exercise price of $0.0948 per share pursuant to our 2012 Plan, and there are 14,031,194 ordinary shares available for future issuance upon the exercise of future grants under our 2012 Plan, though we will no longer grant any incentive shares under the 2012 Plan. No share-based award has been granted under our 2014 Plan as of the date of this prospectus. To the extent that any of these options are exercised, there will be further dilution to new investors.

 

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ENFORCEABILITY OF CIVIL LIABILITIES

We are incorporated in the Cayman Islands to take advantage of certain benefits associated with being a Cayman Islands exempted company, such as:

 

    political and economic stability;

 

    an effective judicial system;

 

    a favorable tax system;

 

    the absence of exchange control or currency restrictions; and

 

    the availability of professional and support services.

However, certain disadvantages accompany incorporation in the Cayman Islands. These disadvantages include, but are not limited to:

 

    the Cayman Islands has a less developed body of securities laws as compared to the United States and these securities laws provide significantly less protection to investors as compared to the United States; and

 

    Cayman Islands companies may not have standing to sue before the federal courts of the United States.

Our constituent documents do not contain provisions requiring that disputes, including those arising under the securities laws of the United States, between us, our officers, directors and shareholders, be arbitrated.

Substantially all of our operations are conducted in China, and substantially all of our assets are located in China. All of our directors and executive officers are nationals or residents of jurisdictions other than the United States and most of their assets are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult for a shareholder to effect service of process within the United States upon these persons, or to enforce against us or them judgments obtained in United States courts, including judgments predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the securities laws of the United States or any state in the United States.

We have appointed Law Debenture Corporate Services Inc. as our agent upon whom process may be served in any action brought against us under the securities laws of the United States.

Maples and Calder, our legal counsel as to Cayman Islands law, and Han Kun Law Offices, our legal counsel as to PRC law, have advised us, respectively, that there is uncertainty as to whether the courts of the Cayman Islands and China, respectively, would:

 

    recognize or enforce judgments of United States courts obtained against us or our directors or officers predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the securities laws of the United States or any state in the United States; or

 

    entertain original actions brought in each respective jurisdiction against us or our directors or officers predicated upon the securities laws of the United States or any state in the United States.

There is uncertainty with regard to Cayman Islands law relates to whether a judgment obtained from the United States courts under civil liability provisions of the securities laws will be determined by the courts of the Cayman Islands as penal or punitive in nature. If such a determination is made, the courts of the Cayman Islands will not recognize or enforce the judgment against a Cayman Islands company. Because the courts of the Cayman Islands have yet to rule on whether such judgments are penal or punitive in nature, it is uncertain whether they would be enforceable in the Cayman Islands. Maples and Calder has advised us that although there is no statutory enforcement in the Cayman Islands of judgments obtained in the federal or state courts of the United States, a judgment obtained in such jurisdiction will be recognized and enforced in the courts of the

 

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Cayman Islands at common law, without any re-examination of the merits of the underlying dispute, by an action commenced on the foreign judgment debt in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands, provided such judgment:

 

  (a) is given by a foreign court of competent jurisdiction;

 

  (b) imposes on the judgment debtor a liability to pay a liquidated sum for which the judgment has been given;

 

  (c) is final;

 

  (d) is not in respect of taxes, a fine or a penalty; and

 

  (e) was not obtained in a manner and is not of a kind the enforcement of which is contrary to natural justice or the public policy of the Cayman Islands.

Han Kun Law Offices has further advised us that the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments are provided for under PRC Civil Procedure Law. PRC courts may recognize and enforce foreign judgments in accordance with the requirements of PRC Civil Procedure Law based either on treaties between China and the country where the judgment is rendered or on reciprocity between the jurisdictions. China does not have any treaties or other form of reciprocity with the United States or the Cayman Islands that provide for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in connection with civil liabilities. In addition, according to the PRC Civil Procedure Law, courts in the PRC will not enforce a foreign judgment against us or our directors and officers if they decide that the judgment violates the basic principles of PRC law or national sovereignty, security or public interest. A judgment that does not violate the basic principles of PRC law or national sovereignty, security or public interest may be recognized and enforced by a PRC court base on treaties between China and the country where the judgment is made or on principles of reciprocity between jurisdictions. However, as of the date of this prospectus, no treaty or other form of reciprocity exists between China and the United States or the Cayman Islands governing the recognition and enforcement of judgments. As a result, it is uncertain whether and on what basis a PRC court would enforce a judgment rendered by a court in the United States or the Cayman Islands.

 

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CORPORATE HISTORY AND STRUCTURE

We started our operations in July 2011 when our founders established our consolidated affiliated entity Beijing Momo in China. In order to facilitate foreign investment in our company, we incorporated our holding company under the name of Momo Technology Company Limited in the British Virgin Islands in November 2011. In July 2014, Momo Technology Company Limited was redomiciled in the Cayman Islands as an exempted company registered under the laws of the Cayman Islands, and was renamed Momo Inc. In December 2011, we established Momo HK, a wholly owned subsidiary, in Hong Kong. Subsequently, Momo HK established a wholly-owned PRC subsidiary, Beijing Momo IT in March 2012. In May 2013, we established Chengdu Momo as a wholly owned subsidiary of Beijing Momo. In addition, we recently formed a Delaware subsidiary, which is currently conducting market research and new product development.

The following diagram illustrates our corporate structure, including our principal subsidiaries and consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary, as of the date of this prospectus:

 

LOGO

 

Note:
(1) We exercise effective control over Beijing Momo through contractual arrangements among Beijing Momo IT, Beijing Momo and Messrs. Yan Tang, Yong Li, Xiaoliang Lei and Zhiwei Li, who hold 72.0%, 16.0%, 6.4% and 5.6% of the equity interest in Beijing Momo, respectively. The shareholders of Beijing Momo are shareholders, directors or officers of Momo Inc.

Contractual Arrangements with Beijing Momo

PRC laws and regulations place certain restrictions on foreign investment in and ownership of internet-based businesses. Accordingly, we conduct our operations in China principally through Beijing Momo and its subsidiary, Chengdu Momo, over which we exercise effective control through contractual arrangements among Beijing Momo IT, Beijing Momo and its shareholders.

The contractual arrangements allow us to:

 

    exercise effective control over Beijing Momo;

 

    receive substantially all of the economic benefits of Beijing Momo; and

 

 

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    have an option to purchase all or part of the equity interests in Beijing Momo when and to the extent permitted by PRC law.

As a result of these contractual arrangements, we are the primary beneficiary of Beijing Momo and its subsidiary, and, therefore, have consolidated the financial results of Beijing Momo and its subsidiary in our consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

The following is a summary of the currently effective contractual arrangements by and among our wholly-owned subsidiary, Beijing Momo IT, Beijing Momo, and the shareholders of Beijing Momo.

Business operation agreement. Under the business operation agreement entered into among Beijing Momo IT, Beijing Momo and the shareholders of Beijing Momo on April 18, 2012, as supplemented on June 9, 2014, the shareholders of Beijing Momo agreed that Beijing Momo would not enter into any transaction that could materially or adversely affect its assets, business, interests or operations without prior written consent from Beijing Momo IT, including conducting business beyond the usual and normal scope, entering into any loan or other debtor-creditor relationship with third party, selling or disposing of assets or rights, including intellectual property rights, and creating guarantees or any other security on any of its assets or intellectual property rights in favor of a third party. In addition, the shareholders of Beijing Momo agreed to vote for or appoint nominees designated by Beijing Momo IT to serve as Beijing Momo’s directors, chairman, general managers, financial controllers and other senior managers. Furthermore, Beijing Momo’s shareholders agreed to accept and implement proposals set forth by Beijing Momo IT regarding employment, day-to-day business operations and financial management. Beijing Momo IT is entitled to any dividends or other interests declared by Beijing Momo and the shareholders of Beijing Momo have agreed to promptly transfer such dividends or other interests to Beijing Momo IT. These agreements have an initial term of ten years from the date of execution, and may be extended at the discretion of Beijing Momo IT. Beijing Momo IT may terminate this agreement at any time by giving a prior written notice to Beijing Momo and its shareholders. Neither Beijing Momo nor its shareholders may terminate this agreement.

Exclusive call option agreements. Under the exclusive call option agreements between Beijing Momo IT, Beijing Momo and each of the shareholders of Beijing Momo entered into on April 18, 2012, and amended and restated on April 18, 2014, each of the shareholders of Beijing Momo irrevocably granted Beijing Momo IT an exclusive option to purchase, to the extent permitted under PRC law, all or part of their equity interests in Beijing Momo for a nominal price of RMB10 or the lowest price permitted under PRC law. In addition, Beijing Momo irrevocably granted Beijing Momo IT an exclusive and irrevocable option to purchase any or all of the assets owned by Beijing Momo at the lowest price permitted under PRC law. Without Beijing Momo IT’s prior written consent, Beijing Momo and its shareholders will not sell, transfer, mortgage or otherwise dispose of Beijing Momo’s material assets, legal or beneficial interests or revenues of more than RMB500,000, or allow an encumbrance on any interest in Beijing Momo. These agreements will remain effective until all equity interests held in Beijing Momo by its shareholders are transferred or assigned to Beijing Momo IT.

Equity interest pledge agreements. Under the equity interest pledge agreements between Beijing Momo IT, Beijing Momo and the shareholders of Beijing Momo entered into on April 18, 2012, and amended and restated on April 18, 2014, the shareholders of Beijing Momo pledged all of their equity interests in Beijing Momo (including any equity interest subsequently acquired) to Beijing Momo IT to guarantee the performance by Beijing Momo and its shareholders of their respective obligations under the contractual arrangements, including the payments due to Beijing Momo IT for services provided. If Beijing Momo or any of its shareholders breach their obligations under these contractual arrangements, Beijing Momo IT, as the pledgee, will be entitled to certain rights and remedies, including priority in receiving the proceeds from the auction or disposal of the pledged equity interests in Beijing Momo. Beijing Momo IT has the right to receive dividends generated by the pledged equity interests during the term of the pledge. The pledge becomes effective on the date when the pledge of equity interests contemplated under the agreement is registered with the relevant local administration for industry and commerce and will remain binding until Beijing Momo and its shareholders discharge all their

 

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obligations under the contractual arrangements. We have registered the equity interest pledge agreements with Chaoyang Branch of Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce in Beijing.

Powers of attorney. Pursuant to the powers of attorney entered into on April 18, 2012 and amended and restated on April 18, 2014, each shareholder of Beijing Momo irrevocably appointed Beijing Momo IT as their attorney-in-fact to act for all matters pertaining to Beijing Momo and to exercise all of their rights as shareholders of Beijing Momo, including attending shareholders’ meetings and designating and appointing legal representatives, directors and senior management members of Beijing Momo. Beijing Momo IT may authorize or assign its rights under this appointment to any other person or entity at its sole discretion without prior notice to or prior consent from the shareholders of Beijing Momo. Each power of attorney remains in force until the shareholder ceases to hold any equity interest in Beijing Momo.

Spousal consent letters. Under the spousal consent letters, each spouse of the married shareholders of Beijing Momo unconditionally and irrevocably agreed that the equity interest in Beijing Momo held by and registered in the name of their spouse will be disposed of pursuant to the equity interest pledge agreement, the exclusive call option agreement, and the power of attorney. Each spouse agreed not to assert any rights over the equity interest in Beijing Momo held by their spouse. In addition, in the event that the spouses obtain any equity interest in Beijing Momo held by their spouse for any reason, they agreed to be bound by the contractual arrangements.

Exclusive cooperation agreements. Beijing Momo IT entered into an exclusive cooperation agreement and a supplemental agreement with Beijing Momo on August 31, 2014 to supersede the exclusive technology consulting and management services agreement signed in April 2012 between Beijing Momo IT and Beijing Momo. Under the agreement, Beijing Momo IT has the exclusive right to provide, among other things, licenses, copyrights, technical and non-technical services to Beijing Momo and receive license fees and service fees as consideration. Without Beijing Momo IT’s prior written consent, Beijing Momo may not engage any third party to provide the same or similar licenses and services provided by Beijing Momo IT under the agreement. Beijing Momo IT also solely and exclusively owns any intellectual property rights arising from the performance of the agreement. Beijing Momo IT agrees to charge the licensing and service fees only if the operating profit rate, as such term is defined in the agreement, of Beijing Momo exceeds a specified threshold, which is initially set at 3.5% and will be adjusted from time to time. Any amount over the operating profit rate will be paid to Beijing Momo IT in the form of licensing and service fees. A breakdown of licensing and service fees will be exchanged between the parties each month and paid within 60 days from the end of such month. The licensing fee for the mobile social networking software owned by Beijing Momo IT will be 12.5% of Beijing Momo’s revenues generated from its principal business, while the licensing fee for the emoticons owned by Beijing Momo IT and licensed to Beijing Momo will be 12.5% of Beijing Momo’s revenues from emoticon sales, both to be adjusted from time to time. The agreement has retrospective effect starting from January 1, 2014 with respect to the licensing and service fees. The agreement has an initial term of ten years from the date of execution, and may be extended at the sole discretion of Beijing Momo IT. Beijing Momo IT may terminate the agreement at any time with a 30-day notice to Beijing Momo, but Beijing Momo may not terminate the agreement.

In the opinion of Han Kun Law Offices, our PRC counsel:

 

    the ownership structures of Beijing Momo IT and Beijing Momo, currently and immediately after giving effect to this offering, will not result in any violation of PRC laws or regulations currently in effect; and

 

    the contractual arrangements among Beijing Momo IT, Beijing Momo and the shareholders of Beijing Momo governed by PRC law, currently and immediately after giving effect to this offering, are valid, binding and enforceable, and do not and will not result in any violation of PRC laws or regulations currently in effect.

However, there are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current and future PRC laws, regulations and rules. Accordingly, the PRC regulatory authorities may in the future take a

 

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view that is contrary to the above opinion of our PRC counsel. If the PRC government finds that the agreements that establish the structure for operating our business do not comply with PRC government restrictions on foreign investment in our businesses, we could be subject to severe penalties, including being prohibited from continuing operations. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure—If the PRC government finds that the agreements that establish the structure for operating our businesses in China do not comply with PRC regulations on foreign investment in internet and other related businesses, or if these regulations or their interpretation change in the future, we could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish our interests in those operations,” and “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Doing Business in China—Uncertainties in the interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws and regulations could limit the legal protections available to you and us.”

Beijing Momo IT also entered into an exclusive cooperation agreement and a supplemental agreement with Chengdu Momo on August 31, 2014, which agreements are substantially similar to the ones entered into between Beijing Momo IT and Beijing Momo described above.

 

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SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

The following selected consolidated income and comprehensive income data for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2013, selected consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2012 and 2013 and selected consolidated cash flow data for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2013 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. The following selected consolidated income and comprehensive income data for the nine months ended September 30, 2013 and 2014, selected consolidated balance sheet data as of September 30, 2014 and selected consolidated cash flow data for the nine months ended September 30, 2013 and 2014 have been derived from our unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus and have been prepared on the same basis as our audited consolidated financial statements and include all adjustments, consisting only of normal and recurring adjustments, that we consider necessary for a fair presentation of our financial position and operating results for the periods presented.

Our consolidated financial statements are prepared and presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Our historical results do not necessarily indicate results expected for any future periods. You should read this Summary Consolidated Financial Data section together with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

     Year Ended December 31,     Nine Months
Ended September 30,
 
     2012     2013     2013     2014  
     (in US$ thousands, except share and share-related data)  

Selected Data of Consolidated Statements of Operations:

        

Net Revenues

        

Membership subscription fees

     —          2,808        759        17,853   

Mobile games

     —          92        —          6,891   

Other services

     —          229        58        1,461   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net revenues

     —          3,129        817        26,205   

Cost and expenses(1)

        

Cost of revenues

     —          (2,927     (1,198     (10,391

Research and development expenses

     (1,454     (3,532     (2,330     (5,222

Sales and marketing expenses

     (419     (3,018     (1,521     (26,214

General and administrative expenses

     (1,969     (3,010     (2,054     (7,559
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total cost and expenses

     (3,842     (12,487     (7,103     (49,386
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss from operations

     (3,842     (9,358     (6,286     (23,181

Interest income

     3        32        27        300   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss

     (3,839     (9,326     (6,259     (22,881

Deemed dividend to preferred shareholders

     (3,093     (8,120     (5,640     (49,673
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss attributable to ordinary shareholders

     (6,932     (17,446     (11,899     (72,554
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss per share attributable to ordinary shareholders, as restated(*)

        

Basic

     (0.12     (0.26     (0.19     (0.93

Diluted

     (0.12     (0.26     (0.19     (0.93

Weighted average shares used in computing net loss per ordinary share

        

Basic

     60,103,654        67,190,411        62,562,500        77,749,511   

Diluted

     60,103,654        67,190,411        62,562,500        77,749,511   

 

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(*) Net loss per ordinary share has been restated for each period to allocate all net losses to the ordinary shares, as the restricted shares do not contain a contractual obligation to fund losses.
(1) Share-based compensation expenses were allocated in cost and expenses as follows:

 

     Year Ended December 31,      Nine Months Ended September 30,  
     2012      2013              2013                      2014          
     (in US$ thousands)  

Cost of revenues

     —           34         9         75   

Research and development expenses

     39         269         169         286   

Sales and marketing expenses

     11         128         48         316   

General and administrative expenses

     542         532         314         3,532   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

     592         963         540         4,209   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

The following table presents our summary consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2012, 2013 and September 30, 2014.

 

     As of December 31,     As of September 30, 2014  
     2012     2013     Actual     Unaudited
Pro forma(1)
     Pro forma
as adjusted(2)
 
     (in US$ thousands)  

Selected Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:

           

Cash and cash equivalents

     18,539        55,374        162,206        162,206         418,729   

Total assets

     20,784        63,025        184,867        184,867         441,390   

Total liabilities

     143        5,566        30,135        30,135         30,135   

Total mezzanine equity

     27,199        80,319        310,714        —           —     

Total equity (deficit)

     (6,558     (22,860     (155,982     154,732         411,255   

 

Notes:

(1)  The consolidated balance sheet data as of September 30, 2014 are adjusted on an unaudited pro forma basis to give effect to (i) the automatic re-designation of 96,886,370 ordinary shares held by Gallant Future Holdings Limited into Class B ordinary shares on a one-for-one basis immediately prior to the completion of this offering and (ii) the automatic re-designation of all of our remaining ordinary shares and the automatic conversion and re-designation of all of our outstanding Series A-1, Series A-2, Series A-3, Series B, Series C and Series D preferred shares into 235,180,852 Class A ordinary shares immediately prior to the completion of this offering.
(2)  The consolidated balance sheet data as of September 30, 2014 are adjusted on an unaudited pro forma as adjusted basis to give effect to (i) the automatic re-designation of 96,886,370 ordinary shares held by Gallant Future Holdings Limited into Class B ordinary shares on a one-for-one basis immediately prior to the completion of this offering, (ii) the automatic re-designation of all of our remaining ordinary shares and the automatic conversion and re-designation of all of our outstanding Series A-1, Series A-2, Series A-3, Series B, Series C and Series D preferred shares into 235,180,852 Class A ordinary shares immediately prior to the completion of this offering, (iii) the sale of 32,000,000 Class A ordinary shares in the form of ADSs by us in this offering at the initial public offering price of US$13.50 per ADS, after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, assuming the underwriters do not exercise the over-allotment option and (iv) the issuance and sale of 8,888,888 Class A ordinary shares through the Concurrent Private Placement, with net proceeds of US$60.0 million to us.

 

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The following table presents our summary consolidated cash flow data for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2013, as well as the nine months ended September 30, 2013 and 2014.

 

     Year Ended December 31,     Nine Months Ended September 30,  
     2012     2013     2013     2014  
     (in US$ thousands)  

Selected Consolidated Cash Flow Data:

      

Net cash used in operating activities

     (4,104     (5,135     (4,813     (8,415

Net cash used in investing activities

     (1,992     (3,181     (1,888     (6,955

Net cash provided by financing activities

     23,551        45,000        —          122,441   

Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents

     (34     151        160        (239
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net (decrease by) increase in cash and cash equivalents

     17,421        36,835        (6,541     106,832   

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period

     1,118        18,539        18,539        55,374   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

     18,539        55,374        11,998        162,206   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

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MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations in conjunction with the section headed “Selected Consolidated Financial Data” and our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results and the timing of selected events could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those set forth under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus.

Overview

Momo connects people in a personal and lively way.

Momo is a revolutionary mobile-based social networking platform. We enable users to establish and expand social relationships based on location and interests. Our platform includes our Momo mobile application and a variety of related features, functionalities, tools and services that we provide to users, customers and platform partners. We have established Momo as one of China’s leading mobile social networking platforms in less than three years since our inception.

We focus on building and growing our user base and improving user experience. Our user base has grown rapidly since we launched Momo in August 2011, as evidenced by the following:

 

    We had 180.3 million registered users as of September 30, 2014, representing an increase of 160.8% from September 30, 2013.

 

    Our MAUs reached 60.2 million in September 2014, representing an increase of 112.8% from September 2013.

 

    Our average DAUs reached 25.5 million in September 2014, representing an increase of 140.6% from September 2013.

 

    We had 2.3 million members as of September 30, 2014, representing an increase of 659.9% from as of September 30, 2013.

 

    Our users sent a daily average of 655.2 million one-to-one messages, representing a daily average of 26 one-to-one messages per DAU, in September 2014; 63.5% of these messages were exchanged among people who had already followed each other.

Our large, growing and engaged user base creates powerful network effects and a high barrier to entry.

We generate revenues primarily from membership subscription, mobile games and other services. Users can become Momo members by paying subscription fees, entitling them to additional functionalities and privileges in our mobile application. We offer mobile games developed by third-parties and share revenues generated by in-game purchases of virtual items with such developers. Our other services include paid emoticons and mobile marketing services. Our virtual store features stylish and trendy emoticons for sale, many of which are inspired by characters in popular culture. For mobile marketing services, we allow local merchants to set up business profile pages through our Dao Dian Tong service and businesses to place banner ads in our mobile application.

We began monetizing in July 2013 and have achieved rapid growth from the increase in the scale of our social networking platform and the expansion of our service offerings. Our revenues increased significantly from US$0.8 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2013 to US$26.2 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2014. We had net losses of US$3.8 million, US$9.3 million and US$22.9 million in 2012, 2013 and the nine months ended September 30, 2014, respectively.

 

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Trends in Our User Metrics

We analyze a number of user traffic metrics to evaluate our business and operating performance, and make business plans and strategic decisions.

Monthly Active Users (MAUs)

MAUs are a measure of the size of our active user base, which has grown substantially since our inception. In September 2014, we had 60.2 million MAUs, compared to 28.3 million in September 2013, representing an increase of 112.8%.

Daily Active Users (DAUs)

DAUs are a measure of the size of our active user base and user engagement. In September 2014, we had 25.5 million average DAUs, compared to 10.6 million in September 2013, representing an increase of 140.6%.

The following charts show our MAUs and average DAUs for each of the months indicated.

 

LOGO    LOGO

Members

Members are Momo users who have paid the membership subscription fees. Our members reached 0.3 million, 0.6 million, 1.3 million, 1.7 million and 2.3 million as of September 30, 2013, December 31, 2013, March 31, 2014, June 30, 2014 and September 30, 2014, respectively.

The following chart shows the total number of our members as of the end of each of the quarters indicated.

 

LOGO

 

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Major Factors Affecting Our Results of Operations

User Growth. Our revenues are driven by the number of our paying users, which include our members as well as users who make purchases of emoticons or purchase virtual items in mobile games offered on our platform, which in turn are affected by the growth in our active user base, and strategies we pursue to achieve active user growth that may affect our costs and expenses and results of operations. We have experienced rapid user growth since our inception. Currently, membership subscription fees are the largest component of our revenues. The growth of our member base is driven primarily by the growth of the number of active users and our ability to convert a greater portion of our users into members.

User Engagement. Changes in user engagement could affect our revenues and financial results. Active user engagement powered by diverse functionalities and rich content enables us to secure an abundant supply of user profiles and behavioral data, which is essential for our mobile marketing services and our ability to improve our service features, including our user tiering system.

Monetization. We started monetization in the third quarter of 2013, and we are continuing to refine the ways to monetize our service offerings without adversely affecting user experience. We plan to increase the revenues generated through our membership subscription fees by offering more premium services to our members. We plan to partner with third-party game developers and to develop games in-house to offer more games tailored to our platform and our users. We will continue to build our mobile marketing business, including the development of more innovative native advertising and comprehensive mobile marketing solutions. Our future revenue growth will be affected by our ability to effectively execute our monetization strategies.

Investment in Technology Infrastructure and Talent. Our technology infrastructure is critical for us to retain and attract users, customers and platform partners. We must continue to upgrade and expand our technology infrastructure to keep pace with the growth of our business, to further enhance our big data analytical capabilities and develop new features and services for our platform.

Our employee headcount has increased significantly as our business has grown and we expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future. The number of our employees increased from 76 as of December 31, 2012 to 209 as of December 31, 2013 and further to 358 as of September 30, 2014. There is strong demand in China’s internet industry for talented and experienced personnel from fast-growing, large-scale social networking platforms. We must recruit, retain and motivate talented employees while controlling our personnel-related expenses, including share-based compensation expenses.

 

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Results of Operations

The following table sets forth a summary of our consolidated results of operations for the periods indicated, both in absolute amounts and as percentages of our total net revenues. This information should be read together with our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus. The results of operations in any period are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for any future period.

 

     Year Ended December 31,     Nine Months Ended September 30,  
     2012     2013     2013     2014  
     US$     US$     %     US$     US$     %  
     (in US$ thousands, except for percentages)  

Net revenues

     —          3,129        100.0        817        26,205        100.0   

Cost and expenses

            

Cost of revenues

     —          (2,927     (93.5     (1,198     (10,391     (39.7

Research and development expenses

     (1,454     (3,532     (112.9     (2,330     (5,222     (19.9

Sales and marketing expenses

     (419     (3,018     (96.5     (1,521     (26,214     (100.0

General and administrative expenses

     (1,969     (3,010     (96.2     (2,054     (7,559     (28.9
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total cost and expenses

     (3,842     (12,487     (399.1     (7,103     (49,386     (188.5
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss from operations

     (3,842     (9,358     (299.1     (6,286     (23,181     (88.5

Interest income

     3        32        1.0        27        300        1.2   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss

     (3,839     (9,326     (298.1     (6,259     (22,881     (87.3
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Comparison of the Years Ended December 31, 2012 and 2013, and the Nine Months Ended September 30, 2013 and 2014

Net revenues

We currently generate revenues primarily from membership subscription, mobile games and other services. Membership subscription and other service revenues are presented net of surcharges and taxes. Mobile games revenues are presented net of revenue sharing with game developers, surcharges and taxes.

Membership subscription. Momo users can become members by paying monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual membership fees. Momo members are entitled to additional functionalities and privileges on our mobile application. Our membership subscription revenues were US$2.8 million in 2013, all of which were generated in the second half of 2013, and US$17.9 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2014, compared to US$0.8 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2013. The growth in membership subscription fees revenues is primarily driven by the significant increase in the number of our members since we started monetization. Our members increased from 0.3 million as of September 30, 2013 to 0.6 million as of December 31, 2013, and further to 2.3 million as of September 30, 2014. The increase in the number of our members was in turn driven by the growth in our active user base and increased user engagement. Our MAUs increased from 28.3 million in September 2013 to 33.7 million in December 2013, and further to 60.2 million in September 2014. Our average DAUs increased from 10.6 million in September 2013 to 12.8 million in December 2013, and further to 25.5 million in September 2014.

 

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Mobile games. We began to generate mobile games revenues in the fourth quarter of 2013, when we introduced two games on our platform. We have two types of mobile game services, namely non-exclusive mobile game services and exclusive mobile game services. For non-exclusive mobile game services, we offer our mobile game platform for mobile games developed by third-party game developers, and we share user payments with such game developers. Game developers may offer their games on other platforms in addition to ours. For exclusive mobile game services, we offer our mobile game platform for mobile games developed by third-party game developers, and our platform is the only one through which players can access such games. As of September 30, 2014, we operated five games on our platform under non-exclusive mobile game services and one game under exclusive mobile game services. We expect the number of games operated under exclusive mobile game services to increase in the near future. Our revenues from mobile games depend on the number of paying users, which ultimately is determined by our ability to select and offer engaging games tailored to our platform and our user profiles. The number of paying users who purchased virtual items in mobile games offered on our platform increased from 35 thousand in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 160 thousand in the third quarter of 2014.

Other services. Our other services include paid emoticons and mobile marketing services. Our virtual store began to generate revenues from stylish and trendy emoticons for sale in the third quarter of 2013. The growth of our paid emoticon revenues is also primarily attributable to the increase in our paying users, which is in turn driven by the size of our active user base. Our paid emoticons paying users increased from 50 thousand in the third quarter of 2013 to 93 thousand in the fourth quarter of 2013, and further to 206 thousand in the third quarter of 2014. We also generate revenues from our mobile marketing services, which currently include the setting up of business profile pages by local merchants through our Dao Dian Tong service and the placement of banner displays in our mobile application. We began to offer mobile marketing services in the third quarter of 2013. Our other services revenues increased from US$0.2 million in 2013 to US$1.5 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2014, compared to US$58 thousand in the nine months ended September 30, 2013.

The following table sets forth the components of our net revenues by amounts and percentages of our total net revenues for the periods presented:

 

     Year Ended December 31,      Nine Months Ended
September 30,
 
     2012      2013      2013      2014  
     US$      US$      %      US$      US$      %  
     (in US$ thousands, except for percentages)  

Net revenues:

              

Membership subscription

     —           2,808         89.7         759         17,853         68.1   

Mobile games

     —           92         2.9         —           6,891         26.3   

Other services

     —           229         7.4         58         1,461         5.6   
     

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total net revenues

     —           3,129         100.0         817         26,205         100.0   
     

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Cost and expenses

Cost of revenues

Cost of revenues consists primarily of costs associated with the operation and maintenance of our platform, including bandwidth costs, commission fees, depreciation, SMS costs and labor costs. Bandwidth costs, including internet data center and content delivery network fees, consist of fees that we pay to telecommunication carriers and other service providers for telecommunication services, hosting our servers at their internet data centers, and providing content and application delivery services. Commission fees are payments made to third-party application stores and other payment channels for distributing our mobile application and membership subscription services. Users can make payments for such services through third-party online and mobile phone payment channels. These third-party payment channels typically charge a handling fee for their services. Depreciation mainly consists of depreciation cost on our servers, computers and

 

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other equipment. SMS costs consist of fees that we pay to telecommunication carriers for text message services provided to our users for verification purpose. Labor costs consist of salaries and benefits, including share-based compensation expenses, for our employees involved in the operation of our platform.

The following table sets forth the components of our cost of revenues by amounts and percentages of our total cost of revenues for the periods presented:

 

     Year Ended December 31,      Nine Months Ended September 30,  
     2012      2013      2013      2014  
         US$              %              US$             %              US$             %              US$             %      
     (in US$ thousands, except for percentages)  

Cost of revenues:

                    

Bandwidth costs

     —           —           (1,265     43.2         (585     48.9         (4,526     43.6   

Commission fees

     —           —           (339     11.6         (85     7.1         (2,443     23.5   

Depreciation

     —           —           (387     13.2         (153     12.7         (1,112     10.7   

SMS costs

           (445     15.2         (195     16.3         (1,027     9.9   

Labor costs

     —           —           (412     14.1         (153     12.7         (936     9.0   

Other costs

     —           —           (79     2.7         (27     2.3         (347     3.3   
        

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total cost of revenues

     —           —           (2,927     100.0         (1,198     100.0         (10,391     100.0   
        

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Our cost of revenues was US$2.9 million in 2013 and US$10.4 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2014, compared to US$1.2 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2013. The significant increase in cost of revenues was primarily due to our rapid business expansion during the relevant periods. Prior to generating revenues in the third quarter of 2013, we recorded US$0.6 million and US$0.8 million of bandwidth costs and SMS costs in general and administrative expenses in 2012 and the first half of 2013, respectively. We expect our cost of revenues to increase in the future as we continue to enhance the capability and reliability of our infrastructure to support user growth and increased activity on our platform.

Research and development expenses

Research and development expenses consist primarily of salaries and benefits, including share-based compensation expenses, for research and development personnel and rental expenses. Expenditures incurred during the research phase are expensed as incurred. We expect our research and development expenses to increase as we expand our research and development team, to further enhance our big data analytical capabilities and develop new features and services for our platform.

Nine months ended September 30, 2014 compared to nine months ended September 30, 2013. Our research and development expenses increased by 124.0% from US$2.3 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2013 to US$5.2 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2014. This increase was primarily due to a US$2.2 million increase in salaries and benefits for research and development personnel. Our research and development headcount increased from 77 as of September 30, 2013 to 148 as of September 30, 2014.

2013 compared to 2012. Our research and development expenses increased by 142.9% from US$1.5 million in 2012 to US$3.5 million in 2013. This increase was primarily due to a US$1.7 million increase in salaries and benefits for research and development personnel. Our research and development headcount increased from 43 as of December 31, 2012 to 101 as of December 31, 2013.

Sales and marketing expenses

Sales and marketing expenses consist primarily of general marketing and promotional expenses, as well as salaries and benefits, including share-based compensation expenses, for our sales and marketing personnel. We expect our sales and marketing expenses to increase as we plan to enhance our brand awareness and attract new users.

 

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Nine months ended September 30, 2014 compared to nine months ended September 30, 2013. Our sales and marketing expenses increased from US$1.5 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2013 to US$26.2 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2014, primarily due to a US$21.3 million increase in marketing and promotional expenses to enhance our brand awareness and a US$2.5 million increase in salaries and other benefits for our sales and marketing personnel. Our sales and marketing headcount nearly tripled, from 43 as of September 30, 2013 to 120 as of September 30, 2014.

2013 compared to 2012. Our sales and marketing expenses increased from $0.4 million in 2012 to $3.0 million in 2013, primarily due to a US$1.0 million increase in salaries and other benefits for our sales and marketing personnel, and a US$1.0 million increase in marketing and promotional expenses to enhance our brand awareness. Our sales and marketing headcount more than doubled, from 25 as of December 31, 2012 to 57 as of December 31, 2013.

General and administrative expenses

General and administrative expenses consist primarily of salaries and expenses, including share-based compensation expense, professional fees and rental expenses. We expect our general and administrative expenses to increase as our business grows and we comply with our reporting obligations under U.S. securities laws as a public company.

Nine months ended September 30, 2014 compared to nine months ended September 30, 2013. Our general and administrative expenses increased from US$2.1 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2013 to US$7.6 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2014. This increase was primarily due to a US$1.1 million increase in professional fees for legal, auditing and other services, a US$4.5 million increase in salaries and other benefits including share-based compensation expenses for our general and administrative personnel, and increase of rental expenses as a result of moving into a new headquarters office in May 2014, offset by a decrease in costs associated with the maintenance of our platform. We included bandwidth costs and SMS costs in an amount of US$0.8 million in the first half of 2013 in our general and administrative expenses prior to our monetization in the third quarter of 2013, but have included them in cost of revenues since then.

2013 compared to 2012. Our general and administrative expenses increased by 52.9% from US$2.0 million in 2012 to US$3.0 million in 2013. This increase was primarily due to an increase of US$0.6 million in salaries and other benefits for our general and administrative personnel, and an increase in costs associated with the maintenance of our platform. We included bandwidth costs and SMS costs in total of US$0.6 million in 2012 and US$0.8 million in 2013 in our general and administrative expenses prior to our monetization in the third quarter of 2013, but have included them in cost of revenues since then.

Net loss

Nine months ended September 30, 2014 compared to nine months ended September 30, 2013. As a result of the foregoing, we recorded net loss of US$6.3 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2013 and US$22.9 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2014.

2013 compared to 2012. As a result of the foregoing, we recorded net loss of US$3.8 million in 2012 and US$9.3 million in 2013.

 

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Selected Quarterly Results of Operations

The following table sets forth our unaudited consolidated quarterly results of operations for each of the seven quarters in the period from January 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014. You should read the following table in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus. We have prepared this unaudited condensed consolidated quarterly financial data on the same basis as we have prepared our audited consolidated financial statements. The unaudited condensed consolidated financial data includes all adjustments, consisting only of normal and recurring adjustments, that we consider necessary for a fair statement of our financial position and operating results for the quarters presented.

 

    Three months ended  
    March 31,
2013
    June 30,
2013
    September 30,
2013
    December 31,
2013
    March 31,
2014
    June 30,
2014
    September 30,
2014
 
    (in US$ thousands)  

Selected Data of Consolidated Statements of Operations:

             

Net revenues

             

Membership subscription

    —          —          759        2,049        3,166        5,578        9,109   

Mobile games

    —          —          —          92        1,963        2,475        2,453   

Other services

    —          —          58        171        317        387        757   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net revenues

    —          —          817        2,312        5,446        8,440        12,319   

Cost and expenses(1)

             

Cost of revenues

    —          —          (1,198     (1,729     (2,593     (3,444     (4,354

Research and development expenses

    (710     (777     (843     (1,202     (1,313     (1,577     (2,332

Sales and marketing expenses

    (229     (504     (788     (1,497     (1,872     (7,199     (17,143

General and administrative expenses

    (616     (1,023     (415     (956     (993     (3,340     (3,226
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total cost and expenses

    (1,555     (2,304     (3,244     (5,384     (6,771     (15,560     (27,055
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss from operations

    (1,555     (2,304     (2,427     (3,072     (1,325     (7,120     (14,736
Interest income     4        15        8        5        92        89        119   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss

    (1,551     (2,289     (2,419     (3,067     (1,233     (7,031     (14,617
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

Note:
(1) Share-based compensation expenses were allocated in cost and expenses as follows:

 

    Three months ended,  
    March 31,
2013
    June 30,
2013
    September 30,
2013
    December 31,
2013
    March 31,
2014
    June 30,
2014
    September 30,
2014
 
    (in US$ thousands)  

Cost of revenues

    —          —          9        25        25        25        25   

Research and development expenses

    59        59        51        100        95        94        97   

Sales and marketing expenses

    16        16        16        80        92        112        112   

General and administrative expenses

    103        105        106        218        750        1,432        1,350   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total

    178        180        182        423        962        1,663        1,584   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Our net revenues increased from US$0.8 million in the third quarter of 2013 to US$12.3 million in the third quarter of 2014, outpacing the rate of increase of our cost of revenues during the same periods. We included bandwidth costs and SMS costs in our general and administrative expenses prior to the beginning of our monetization in the third quarter of 2013, and have included them in cost of revenues since then.

Because we only started to monetize from the third quarter of 2013, we cannot confirm or otherwise describe the seasonality of our business as a result of this very short history of monetization.

 

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Taxation

Cayman Islands

We are incorporated in the Cayman Islands. Under the current law of the Cayman Islands, we are not subject to income or capital gains tax in the Cayman Islands. In addition, our payment of dividends to our shareholders, if any, is not subject to withholding tax in the Cayman Islands.

US

Our subsidiary incorporated in the United States is subject to state income tax and federal income tax at different tax rates, depending on taxable income levels. As our US subsidiary did not have any taxable income, no income tax expense was provided for in the nine months ended September 30, 2014.

Hong Kong

Our subsidiary incorporated in Hong Kong is subject to the uniform tax rate of 16.5%. Under the Hong Kong tax laws, it is exempted from the Hong Kong income tax on its foreign-derived income and there are no withholding taxes in Hong Kong on the remittance of dividends. No provision for Hong Kong tax has been made in our consolidated financial statements, as our Hong Kong subsidiary had not generated any assessable income in 2012, 2013 or the nine months ended September 30, 2014.

PRC

Pursuant to the EIT Law, which became effective on January 1, 2008, foreign-invested enterprises and domestic companies are subject to enterprise income tax at a uniform rate of 25%. In August 2014, Beijing Momo IT was qualified as a software enterprise. As such, Beijing Momo IT will be exempt from income taxes for two years beginning in its first profitable year followed by a tax rate of 12.5% for the succeeding three years. The other entities incorporated in the PRC are subject to an enterprise income tax at a rate of 25%.

As we had net operating losses for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2013, as well as the nine months ended September 30, 2014, we have not incurred any PRC income taxes for those periods.

Effective January 1, 2012, the PRC Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation launched a Business Tax to Value-Added Tax Transformation Pilot Program, or the VAT Pilot Program, which imposes VAT in lieu of business tax for certain “modern service industries” in certain regions and eventually expands to nation-wide in 2013. According to the implementation circulars released by the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation on the VAT Pilot Program, the “modern service industries” include research, development and technology services, information technology services, cultural innovation services, logistics support, lease of corporeal properties, attestation and consulting services. All of our entities were subject to the VAT Pilot Program as of September 30, 2014, or specifically, VAT at rate of 6% in lieu of business tax. With the adoption of the VAT Pilot Program, our revenues are subject to VAT payable on goods sold or taxable services provided by a general VAT taxpayer for a taxable period is the net balance of the output VAT for the period after crediting the input VAT for the period. Hence, the amount of VAT payable does not result directly from output VAT generated from goods sold or taxable services provided. Therefore, we have adopted the net presentation of VAT.

Pursuant to applicable PRC laws and regulations, arrangements and transactions among related parties may be subject to audit or challenge by the PRC tax authorities. We may be subject to adverse tax consequences and our consolidated results of operations may be adversely affected if the PRC tax authorities determine that the contractual arrangements among our PRC subsidiary, Beijing Momo and its shareholders are not on an arm’s length basis and therefore constitute favorable transfer pricing. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure—Contractual arrangements we have entered into with Beijing Momo may be subject to

 

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scrutiny by the PRC tax authorities. A finding that we owe additional taxes could significantly reduce our consolidated net income and the value of your investment.”

Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

In connection with the audit of our consolidated financial statements as of and for the two years ended December 31, 2012 and 2013, we and our independent registered public accounting firm identified two material weaknesses as of December 31, 2013. As defined in standards established by the PCAOB, a “material weakness” is a deficiency, or combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.

The material weaknesses identified related to (i) the lack of accounting personnel with appropriate knowledge of U.S. GAAP and (ii) the lack of a comprehensive accounting policies and procedures manual in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Neither we nor our independent registered public accounting firm undertook a comprehensive assessment of our internal control under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for purposes of identifying and reporting any weakness in our internal control over financial reporting. We and they are required to do so only after we become a public company. Had we performed a formal assessment of our internal control over financial reporting or had our independent registered public accounting firm performed an audit of our internal control over financial reporting, additional control deficiencies may have been identified.

To remedy our identified material weaknesses, we have adopted several measures to improve our internal control over financial reporting, including (i) establishing a U.S. GAAP financial reporting team in 2014, including hiring a chief financial officer, who is AICPA qualified, a financial controller and a financial reporting manager, each of whom has extensive U.S. GAAP financial accounting and reporting experience at big four international accounting firms and U.S.-listed public companies based in China; (ii) the periodical evaluation of the sufficiency of our accounting resources and needs for recruiting additional personnel and providing our accounting staff with regular U.S. GAAP training; and (iii) developing and implementing a full set of U.S. GAAP accounting policies and financial reporting procedures as well as related internal control policies, including implementing a comprehensive accounting manual to guide the day-to-day accounting operation and reporting work. We expect to complete the measures above as soon as practicable and we will continue to implement measures to remedy our internal control deficiencies in order to meet the deadline imposed under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

The process of designing and implementing an effective financial reporting system is a continuous effort that requires us to anticipate and react to changes in our business and the economic and regulatory environments and to expend significant resources to maintain a financial reporting system that is adequate to satisfy our reporting obligations. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Business and Industry—If we fail to implement and maintain an effective system of internal controls, we may be unable to accurately report our results of operations or prevent fraud or fail to meet our reporting obligations, and investor confidence and the market price of our ADSs may be materially and adversely affected.”

Liquidity and Capital Resources

To date, we have financed our operations primarily through the issuance of preferred shares in private placements. As of December 31, 2012 and 2013 and September 30, 2014, we had US$18.5 million, US$55.4 million and US$162.2 million, respectively, in cash and cash equivalents. Our cash and cash equivalents primarily consist of cash on hand and highly liquid investments, which are unrestricted from withdrawal or use, or which have original maturities of three months or less when purchased. We believe that our current cash and cash equivalents and our anticipated cash flows from operations will be sufficient to meet our anticipated working capital requirements and capital expenditures for the 12 months following this offering. We may, however, need additional capital in the future to fund our continued operations.

 

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In the future, we may rely significantly on dividends and other distributions paid by our PRC subsidiary for our cash and financing requirements. There may be restrictions on the dividends and other distributions by our PRC subsidiary. The PRC tax authorities may require us to adjust our taxable income under the contractual arrangements that our PRC subsidiary currently has in place with our consolidated affiliated entity in a way that could materially and adversely affect the ability of our PRC subsidiary to pay dividends and make other distributions to us. In addition, under PRC laws and regulations, our PRC subsidiary may pay dividends only out of its accumulated profits as determined in accordance with PRC accounting standards and regulations. Our PRC subsidiary is required to set aside at least 10% of its accumulated after-tax profits each year, if any, to fund a statutory reserve fund, until the aggregate amount of such fund reaches 50% of its respective registered capital. At its discretion, our PRC subsidiary may allocate a portion of its after-tax profits based on PRC accounting standards to staff welfare and bonus funds. The reserve fund and the staff welfare and bonus funds cannot be distributed as cash dividends. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure—We may rely on dividends paid by our PRC subsidiary to fund any cash and financing requirements we may have. Any limitation on the ability of our PRC subsidiary to pay dividends to us could have a material adverse effect on our ability to conduct our business and to pay dividends to holders of the ADSs and our ordinary shares.” Furthermore, our investments made as registered capital and additional paid-in capital of our PRC subsidiary, consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary are also subject to restrictions on their distribution and transfer according to PRC laws and regulations.

As a result, our PRC subsidiary, consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary in China are restricted in their ability to transfer their net assets to us in the form of cash dividends, loans or advances. As of September 30, 2014, the amount of the restricted net assets, which represents registered capital and additional paid-in capital cumulative appropriations made to statutory reserves, was US$42.1 million. As of September 30, 2014, we held cash and cash equivalents of US$147.4 million in aggregate outside of the PRC and US$14.8 million in aggregate in the PRC, of which US$14.6 million was denominated in RMB and US$0.2 million was in U.S. dollars. Of such cash and cash equivalents held in the PRC, our PRC subsidiary held cash and cash equivalents in the amount of US$0.2 million and RMB1.3 million (US$0.2 million), and our consolidated variable interest entity and its subsidiary held cash and cash equivalents in the amount of RMB88.0 million (US$14.4 million).

As an offshore holding company, we are permitted under PRC laws and regulations to provide funding from the proceeds of our offshore fund raising activities to our PRC subsidiary only through loans or capital contributions, and to our consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary only through loans, in each case subject to the satisfaction of the applicable government registration and approval requirements. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Doing Business in China—PRC regulation of loans to, and direct investment in, PRC entities by offshore holding companies and governmental control of currency conversion may restrict or prevent us from using the proceeds of our initial public offering to make loans to our PRC subsidiary and consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary, or to make additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiary.” As a result, there is uncertainty with respect to our ability to provide prompt financial support to our PRC subsidiary and consolidated affiliated entity when needed. Notwithstanding the forgoing, our PRC subsidiary may use its own retained earnings (rather than RMB converted from foreign currency denominated capital) to provide financial support to our consolidated affiliated entity either through entrustment loans from our PRC subsidiary to our consolidated affiliated entity or direct loans to such consolidated affiliated entity’s nominee shareholders, which would be contributed to the consolidated variable entity as capital injections. Such direct loans to the nominee shareholders would be eliminated in our consolidated financial statements against the consolidated affiliated entity’s share capital.

Our full time employees in the PRC participate in a government-mandated contribution plan pursuant to which certain pension benefits, medical care, unemployment insurance, employee housing fund and other welfare benefits are provided to such employees. We accrue for these benefits based on certain percentages of the employees’ salaries. The total provisions for such employee benefits were US$0.3 million in 2012, US$1.0 million in 2013 and US$1.6 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2014. We expect our

 

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contribution towards such employee benefits to increase in the future as we continue to expand our workforce and as salary levels of our employees continue to increase.

The following table sets forth a summary of our cash flows for the periods indicated:

 

     Year Ended December 31,     Nine Months Ended September 30,  
     2012     2013     2013     2014  
     (in US$ thousands)  

Net cash used in operating activities

     (4,104     (5,135     (4,813     (8,415

Net cash used in investing activities

     (1,992     (3,181     (1,888     (6,955

Net cash provided by financing activities

     23,551        45,000        —          122,441   

Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents

     (34     151        160        (239
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net (decrease by) increase in cash and cash equivalents

     17,421        36,835        (6,541     106,832   

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period

     1,118        18,539        18,539        55,374   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

     18,539        55,374        11,998        162,206   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Anticipated Use of Cash

We intend to invest in our research and development capabilities to grow our user base and enhance user experience. We intend to continue to market our services, promote our brand, strengthen our customer service capabilities and enhance monetization. In order to support our overall business expansion, we also expect to make investments in our corporate facilities and information technology infrastructure. We may pursue strategic alliances and acquisitions that complement our social networking platform. We plan to fund these expenditures with cash and cash equivalents that we have.

Operating Activities

Net cash used in operating activities amounted to US$8.4 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2014, which was primarily attributable to a net loss of US$22.9 million, adjusted for non-cash items of US$6.1 million and increase of US$8.4 million in working capital. The non-cash items primarily included US$4.2 million in share-based compensation expenses and US$1.8 million in depreciation on property and equipment. The increase in working capital was primarily attributable to an increase in deferred revenue of US$10.4 million, an increase in accounts payable of US$3.0 million and an increase in accrued expenses and other current liabilities of US$3.8 million, which was partially offset by an increase in prepaid expenses and other current assets of US$5.0 million and an increase in accounts receivable of US$3.1 million. The increase in deferred revenue was mainly attributable to the increase of our members and membership subscription fees that our members paid in advance, as well as the increase in mobile games revenues paid in advance. The increase in accounts payable was mainly attributable to the increase in revenue-sharing payable to game developers. The increase in accrued expenses and other current liabilities was mainly attributable to (i) an increase in marketing promotional fees payable; (ii) an increase in fees payable for professional services and (iii) increased rental expenses payable. The increase in prepaid expenses and other current assets is mainly attributable to (i) an increase in VAT resulting primarily from the purchase of property and equipment as well as advertising activities; (ii) an increase in commission fees we paid to third-party application stores and other payment channels for distributing our mobile application and membership subscription services; and (iii) an increase in deferred IPO cost.

 

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Net cash used in operating activities amounted to US$5.1 million in 2013, which was primarily attributable to a net loss of US$9.3 million, adjusted for non-cash items of US$1.8 million and increase of US$2.4 million in working capital. The non-cash items included US$1.0 million in share-based compensation expenses and US$0.8 million in depreciation. The increase in working capital was primarily attributable to an increase in deferred revenue of US$3.7 million and an increase in accrued expenses and other current liabilities of US$1.3 million, which was partially offset by an increase in accounts receivable of US$1.9 million and an increase in prepaid expenses and other current assets of US$0.8 million. The increase in deferred revenue was mainly attributable to the increase of our members and membership subscription fees that our members paid in advance. The increase in accrued expenses and other current liabilities was mainly attributable to (i) increase in payroll and welfare payable relating to our increased headcount and increased salaries; and (ii) increased deferred government subsidy. The increase in accounts receivable is mainly attributable for the revenues collected through third-party payment channels. The increase in prepaid expenses and other current assets is mainly attributable to the increase in commission fees we paid to third-party application stores and other payment channels for distributing our mobile application and membership subscription services.

Net cash used in operating activities amounted to US$4.1 million in 2012, which was primarily attributable to a net loss of US$3.8 million, adjusted for non-cash items of US$0.7 million and decrease of US$1.0 million in working capital. The non-cash items include US$0.6 million in share-based compensation expenses and US$0.1 million in depreciation. The decrease in working capital was attributable to increase in accrued expenses and other current liabilities of US$0.7 million and increase in prepaid expenses and other current assets of US$0.3 million.

Investing Activities

Net cash used in investing activities amounted to US$7.0 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2014, which was primarily attributable to our purchase of servers, computers and other equipment and payments for leasehold improvements for our new office in Beijing, which we have occupied since June 2014.

Net cash used in investing activities amounted to US$3.2 million in 2013, which was primarily attributable to our purchase of computer and other equipment.

Net cash used in investing activities amounted to US$2.0 million in 2012, which was primarily attributable to our purchase of computer and other equipment, and advance to a related party for a cost-method investment in Smartisan Technology Co., Ltd. (which was completed in April 2013) on behalf of us. See Note 5 to the consolidated financial statements and report of independent registered public accounting firm included in this prospectus for a description of the cost-method investment.

Financing Activities

Net cash provided by financing activities amounted to US$122.4 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2014, which was primarily attributable to proceeds from our issuance of preferred shares to investors.

Net cash provided by financing activities amounted to US$45.0 million in 2013, which was attributable to proceeds from our issuance of preferred shares to investors.

Net cash provided by financing activities amounted to US$23.6 million in 2012, which was attributable to proceeds from our issuance of preferred shares to investors.

Capital Expenditures

Our capital expenditures amounted to US$1.0 million, US$3.2 million and US$6.6 million in 2012, 2013 and the nine months ended September 30, 2014, respectively. In the past, our capital expenditures were

 

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principally incurred to purchase servers, computers and other office equipment. As our business expands, we may purchase new servers, computers and other equipment in the future, as well as make leasehold improvements.

Contractual Obligations

We lease certain of our facilities and offices under non-cancellable operating lease agreements. The rental expenses were US$0.4 million, US$0.9 million and US$2.2 million during the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2013 and the nine months ended September 30, 2014, respectively.

As of September 30, 2014, future minimum commitments under non-cancelable agreements were as follows:

 

     Total      2014      2015      2016      2017      2018 and
thereafter
 
     (in US$ thousands)  

Operating lease

     5,042         773         2,978         1,192         99         —     
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Other than the operating lease shown above, we did not have any significant capital and other commitments, long-term obligations, or guarantees as of September 30, 2014.

Holding Company Structure

Our company is a holding company with no material operations of its own. We conduct our operations primarily through our wholly owned subsidiaries and our consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary in China. As a result, our ability to pay dividends depends upon dividends paid by our wholly owned subsidiaries. If our wholly owned subsidiaries or any newly formed subsidiaries incur debt on their own behalf in the future, the instruments governing their debt may restrict their ability to pay dividends to us. In addition, our wholly owned subsidiaries are permitted to pay dividends to us only out of their retained earnings, if any, as determined in accordance with PRC accounting standards and regulations. Under PRC law, each of our wholly owned PRC subsidiaries and our consolidated affiliated entity is required to set aside at least 10% of its after-tax profits each year, if any, to fund a statutory reserve until such reserve reaches 50% of its registered capital. Although the statutory reserves can be used, among other ways, to increase the registered capital and eliminate future losses in excess of retained earnings of the respective companies, the reserve funds are not distributable as cash dividends except in the event of liquidation. As a result of these PRC laws and regulations, the capital and statutory reserves restricted which represented the amount of net assets of our relevant subsidiaries in PRC not available for distribution were US$42,081 as of September 30, 2014.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

We have not entered into any financial guarantees or other commitments to guarantee the payment obligations of any third parties. We have not entered into any derivative contracts that are indexed to our shares and classified as shareholder’s equity or that are not reflected in our consolidated financial statements. Furthermore, we do not have any retained or contingent interest in assets transferred to an unconsolidated entity that serves as credit, liquidity or market risk support to such entity. We do not have any variable interest in any unconsolidated entity that provides financing, liquidity, market risk or credit support to us or engages in leasing, hedging or product development services with us.

Inflation

Since our inception, inflation in China has not materially impacted our results of operations. According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the year-over-year percent changes in the consumer price index for

 

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December 2011, 2012 and 2013 were increases of 4.1%, 2.5% and 2.5%, respectively. Although we have not in the past been materially affected by inflation since our inception, we can provide no assurance that we will not be affected in the future by higher rates of inflation in China.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

We prepare our financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP, which requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect our reporting of, among other things, assets and liabilities, revenues and expenses and contingent assets and liabilities. We continually evaluate these estimates and assumptions based on the most recently available information, our own historical experience and other factors that we believe to be relevant under the circumstances. Since our financial reporting process inherently relies on the use of estimates and assumptions, our actual results could differ from what we expect. This is especially true with some accounting policies that require higher degrees of judgment than others in their application. We consider the policies discussed below to be critical to an understanding of our audited consolidated financial statements because they involve the greatest reliance on our management’s judgment.

Revenue recognition

We recognize revenues when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, delivery has occurred, the sales price is fixed or determinable, and collectability is reasonably assured. We principally derive our revenues from membership subscription services as well as offering the platform for mobile games developed by third parties, and other services, including the use of paid emoticons and mobile marketing services.

Membership Subscription. Membership subscription is a service package that enables members to enjoy additional functions and privileges. The contract periods for the membership subscription are one month, one quarter, six months and one year. All membership subscription is nonrefundable. We collect membership subscription in advance and record it as deferred revenue. Revenues are recognized ratably over the contract period for the membership subscription services.

Mobile Games. We provide game services and generate revenues from offering the platform for mobile games developed by third-party game developers. All of the games that we currently offer are developed by third-party game developers and can be accessed and played by game players directly through our mobile game platform. We primarily view the game developers to be our customers and consider our responsibility under our agreements with the game developers to be promotion of the game developers’ games. We generally collect payments from game players in connection with the sale of in-game virtual currencies and remit certain agreed-upon percentages of the proceeds to the game developers and records revenues net of remittances. Purchases of in-game currencies are not refundable after they have been sold unless there are unused in-game currencies at the time a game is discontinued. Typically, a game will only be discontinued when the monthly revenues generated by a game become consistently insignificant. In our short history of providing mobile game services, we have never been required to pay cash refunds to game players or game developers in connection with the used in-game currencies of a discontinued game.

Mobile game revenue recognition involves certain management judgments, such as determining who is the principal in providing game services to our players, estimating the consumption date of the in-game currencies and the period of player relationship. We concluded that game developers are the principals based on the fact that the games are primarily hosted by the game developers and such developers are responsible for the maintenance of the games and determination of the prices of the virtual items used in the games. Our primary responsibility is to promote the games of the third-party developers, provide virtual currency exchange services, and offer customer support to resolve registration, log-in, virtual currency exchange and other related issues. Therefore, we report such revenues net of predetermined revenue-sharing with the game developers.

 

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Non-exclusive mobile games services

We enter into non-exclusive agreements with game developers and offer our mobile game platform for the mobile games developed by such game developers. We have determined that we have no additional performance obligation to the developers or game players upon players’ completion of the corresponding in-game purchase. Therefore, revenues from the sale of in-game currencies are primarily recorded net of remittances to game developers and deferred until the estimated consumption date by individual games (i.e., the estimated date in-game currencies are consumed within the game), which is typically within a short period of time ranging from one to four days after purchase of the in-game currencies.

We estimate the in-game virtual currency consumption date based on the consumption behavior of game players for each reporting period. The amount and timing of our game revenues could be materially different for any period if management made different judgments or utilized different estimates. Any adjustments arising from changes in the estimate would be applied prospectively on the basis that such changes are caused by new information indicating a change in the user behavior pattern.

Exclusive mobile games services

We enter into an exclusive agreement with a game developer and provide our mobile game platform for the mobile game developed by the game developer. Under this exclusive agreement, the players can access the game only through our platform, we have determined that we are obligated to provide mobile games services to game players who purchased virtual items to gain an enhanced game-playing experience over an average period of player relationship. We believe that our performance for, and obligation to, the game developers correspond to the game developers’ services to the players. We do not have access to the data on the consumption details and the types of virtual items purchased by game players. Therefore, we cannot estimate the economic life of the virtual items. However, we maintain historical data of a particular player when the player makes a purchase and logs into the relevant game. We have adopted a policy to recognize revenues net of remittances to game developers over the estimated period of player relationship on a game-by-game basis.

We estimate the period of player relationship based on an assessment of our historical data, user behavioral patterns as well as industry research data. The period of player relationship is estimated based on data collected from those players who have purchased in-game currencies. We estimate the life of the player relationship to be the average period from the first purchase of in-game currencies to the date the player ceases to play the game.

To estimate the last login date the player plays the game, we selected all paying players that logged into the game during a particular period and continue to track these players’ log-on behaviors over a period to determine if each user is “active” or “inactive,” which is determined based on a review of the period of inactivity or idle period from the user’s last log-in. We observe the behaviors of these players to see whether they subsequently return to a game based on different inactive periods (e.g. not logging in) of one month. The percentage of players calculated that do not log back in is estimated to be the probability that players will not return to the game after a certain period of inactivity.

We consider a paying player to be inactive once he or she has reached a period of inactivity for which it is probable (defined as at least 80%) that a player will not return to a specific game. We believe that using an 80% threshold for the likelihood that a player will not return to a game is a reasonable estimate. We have consistently applied this threshold to our analysis.

If a new game is launched and only a limited period of paying player data is available, then we consider other qualitative factors, such as the playing patterns for paying players for other games with similar characteristics in the market. As of September 30, 2014, we operated only one game under an exclusive arrangement and the estimated period of the player relationship for that game is 45 days.

 

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Future usage patterns may differ from historical usage patterns and therefore the estimated period of player relationship with us may change in the future. The consideration of player relationship with each game is based on our best estimate that takes into account all known and relevant information at the time of assessment. We assess the estimated period of player relationships on a quarterly basis. Any adjustments arising from changes in the estimated period of player relationships are applied prospectively as such change results from new information indicating a change in the game player’s behavioral patterns.

Paid Emoticons. All paid emoticons are durable with indefinite lives and each of them is effective upon purchase payment made and download completed by a user. The price of each emoticon is fixed and identifiable. The revenues are recognized ratably over the estimated usage life of the emoticon (i.e. 180 days) by the user from the date when the emoticon is downloaded.

Revenue recognition from emoticons also involves certain management judgments. We estimate the emoticons’ estimated economic life based on the historical data for the period from the first launch in 2013 to March 31, 2014, which period was generally longer than 180 days. We performed the analysis to estimate the usage life of the emoticons based on the historical attrition pattern of the usage frequency per day from the launching date to March 31, 2014, weighted by the sales amount from each selected emoticon sample during such period. We reassess the estimated life periodically. Any adjustments arising from changes in the estimate would be applied prospectively to all existing emoticons which are not fully amortized on the basis that such changes are caused by new information indicating a change in the frequency of usage pattern.

Consolidation of Consolidated Affiliated Entities

PRC regulations currently limit direct foreign ownership of business entities providing value-added telecommunications services, advertising services and internet services in the PRC where certain licenses are required for the provision of such services. To comply with these PRC regulations, we conduct a substantial majority of our business through Beijing Momo and its subsidiary.

Beijing Momo IT, our wholly-owned PRC subsidiary, holds the power to direct the activities of Beijing Momo and its subsidiary that most significantly affect our economic performance and bears the economic risks and receives the economic benefits of Beijing Momo and its subsidiary through a series of contractual agreements with Beijing Momo and/or their nominee shareholders, including:

 

    Exclusive cooperation agreements, as supplemented;

 

    Equity interest pledge agreement;

 

    Business operation agreement;

 

    Exclusive call option agreement;

 

    Powers of attorney; and

Based on the advice of Han Kun Law Offices, our PRC legal counsel, we believe above contractual agreements are currently legally enforceable under PRC law and regulations.

More specifically, through these contractual agreements, we believe that the nominee shareholders of Beijing Momo do not have the direct or indirect ability to make decisions regarding the activities of Beijing Momo that could have a significant impact on the economic performance of Beijing Momo because all of the voting rights of Beijing Momo’s nominee shareholders have been contractually transferred to Beijing Momo. Therefore, we have effective control over Beijing Momo. In addition, we believe that our ability to exercise effective control, together with the exclusive cooperation agreements, as supplemented, exclusive call option agreement and equity interest pledge agreement, give us the rights to receive substantially all of the economic benefits from Beijing Momo. Hence, we believe that the nominee shareholders of Beijing Momo do not have the

 

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rights to receive the expected residual returns of Beijing Momo, as such rights have been transferred to Beijing Momo. We evaluated the rights we obtained through entering into these contractual agreements and concluded we have the power to direct the activities that most significantly affect Beijing Momo’s economic performance and also have the rights to receive the economic benefits of Beijing Momo that could be significant to Beijing Momo.

Accordingly, we are the primary beneficiary of Beijing Momo and have consolidated the financial results of Beijing Momo and its subsidiary in our consolidated financial statements.

The shareholders of Beijing Momo are also our shareholders, directors or officers and therefore have no current interest in acting contrary to the contractual arrangements. However, uncertainties in the PRC legal system could limit our ability to enforce these contractual arrangements and if the shareholders of Beijing Momo were to reduce their shareholdings in our company, their interests may diverge from our interests, which may increase the risk that they would act contrary to the contractual arrangements, such as causing Beijing Momo to not pay service fees under the contractual arrangements when required to do so. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure—We rely on contractual arrangements with Beijing Momo and its shareholders for our operations in China, which may not be as effective in providing operational control as direct ownership.”

Income Taxes

In preparing our consolidated financial statements, we must estimate our income taxes in each of the jurisdictions in which we operate. We estimate our actual tax exposure and assess temporary differences resulting from different treatment of items for tax and accounting purposes. These differences result in deferred tax assets and liabilities, which we include in our consolidated balance sheet. We must then assess the likelihood that we will recover our deferred tax assets from future taxable income. If we believe that recovery is not likely, we must establish a valuation allowance. To the extent we establish a valuation allowance or increase this allowance, we must include an expense within the tax provision in our consolidated statement of operations.

Management must exercise significant judgment to determine our provision for income taxes, our deferred tax assets and liabilities and any valuation allowance recorded against our net deferred tax assets. We base the valuation allowance on our estimates of taxable income in each jurisdiction in which we operate and the period over which our deferred tax assets will be recoverable. If actual results differ from these estimates or we adjust these estimates in future periods, we may need to establish an additional valuation allowance, which could materially impact our financial position and results of operations.

U.S. GAAP requires that an entity recognize the impact of an uncertain income tax position on the income tax return at the largest amount that is more likely than not to be sustained upon audit by the relevant tax authority. If we ultimately determine that payment of these liabilities will be unnecessary, we will reverse the liability and recognize a tax benefit during that period. Conversely, we record additional tax charges in a period in which we determine that a recorded tax liability is less than the expected ultimate assessment. We did not recognize any significant unrecognized tax benefits during the periods presented in this prospectus.

Uncertainties exist with respect to the application of the New EIT Law to our operations, specifically with respect to our tax residency status. The New EIT Law specifies that legal entities organized outside of the PRC will be considered residents for PRC income tax purposes if their “de facto management bodies” are located within the PRC. The New EIT Law’s implementation rules define the term “de facto management bodies” as “establishments that carry out substantial and overall management and control over the manufacturing and business operations, personnel, accounting, properties, etc. of an enterprise.”

Because of the uncertainties resulted from limited PRC tax guidance on the issue, it is uncertain whether our legal entities organized outside of the PRC constitute residents under the New EIT Law. If one or more of our

 

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legal entities organized outside of the PRC were characterized as PRC tax residents, the impact would adversely affect our results of operations. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Doing Business in China.”

The useful lives and impairment of property and equipment

Property and equipment are stated at historical cost less accumulated depreciation. Depreciation is computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets, generally from three to five years. Judgment is required to determine the estimated useful lives of assets, especially for computer equipment, including determining how long existing equipment can function and when new technologies will be introduced at cost-effective price points to replace existing equipment. Changes in these estimates and assumptions could materially impact our financial position and results of operations.

We review our long-lived assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may no longer be recoverable. When these events occur, we measure impairment by comparing the carrying value of the long-lived assets to the estimated undiscounted future cash flows expected to result from the use of the assets and their eventual disposition. If the sum of the expected undiscounted cash flow is less than the carrying amount of the assets, we would recognize an impairment loss based on the fair value of the assets.

Fair value of our ordinary shares

We are a private company with no quoted market prices for our ordinary shares. We have therefore needed to make estimates of the fair value of our ordinary shares at various dates for the following purposes:

 

    Determining the fair value of our ordinary shares at the date of issuance of convertible instruments as one of the inputs into determining the intrinsic value of the beneficial conversion feature, if any.

 

    Determining the fair value of our ordinary shares at the date of the grant of a share-based compensation awards to our employees as one of the inputs into determining the grant date fair value of the award.

 

    Determining the fair value of our ordinary shares at the date of the grant of a share-based compensation awards to non-employees as one of the inputs into determining the grant date fair value of the award and fair value as of each period end thereafter.

In determining the estimated fair value of our ordinary shares, we have considered the guidance prescribed by the AICPA Audit and Accounting Practice Aid, Valuation of Privately-Held-Company Equity Securities Issued as Compensation, or the Practice Aid, which sets forth the preferred types of valuation that should be used. These estimates will not be necessary to determine the fair value of our ordinary shares once our ADSs begin trading.

 

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The following table sets forth the fair value of our ordinary shares estimated at different dates in 2012, 2013 and the nine months ended September 30, 2014:

 

Date

  

Class of Shares

   Fair Value     

Purpose of Valuation

   DLOM     Discount Rate  

April 12, 2012

   Ordinary shares    US$ 0.01       To determine potential beneficial conversion feature in connection with the issuance of Series A-1 and Series A-2 preferred shares      33.5     40.00

June 11, 2012

   Ordinary shares    US$ 0.03       To determine potential beneficial conversion feature in connection with the issuance of Series A-3 preferred shares      33.5     38.00

July 13, 2012

   Ordinary shares    US$ 0.09       To determine potential beneficial conversion feature in connection with the issuance of Series B preferred shares      33.5     38.00

November 1, 2012

   Ordinary shares    US$ 0.19       Share option grant      33.0     35.00

October 8, 2013

   Ordinary shares    US$ 0.40       To determine potential beneficial conversion feature in connection with the issuance of Series C preferred shares      20.0     30.00

March 1, 2014

   Ordinary shares    US$ 4.00       Share option grant      16.0     21.00

April 22, 2014

   Ordinary shares    US$ 4.22       To determine potential beneficial conversion feature in connection with the issuance of Series D preferred shares      14.0     21.00

 

Note: the fair values of ordinary shares stated above were adjusted by 1:10 share split that occurred in September 2012.

In determining the fair value of our equity interest in 2012, 2013 and the nine months ended September 30, 2014, we used both the market approach, also known as backsolve method, and the income approach, also known as the discounted cash flow method.

The backsolve method takes into consideration of the rights and preferences of each class of equity and solves for the total equity value that is comparable with a recent transaction in our own securities, considering the rights and preferences of each class of equity. The method was used when we completed financing transactions with investors on arm’s length basis.

The discounted cash flow, or DCF method, incorporates the projected cash flow of our management’s best estimation as of each measurement date. The projected cash flow estimation includes, among others, analysis of projected revenue growth, gross margins and terminal value. The assumptions used in deriving the fair value of ordinary shares are consistent with our business plan.

 

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The DCF method of the income approach involves applying appropriate discount rates to discount the future cash flows forecast to present value. In determining an appropriate discount rate, we have considered (i) the weighted-average cost of capital, or WACC and (ii) the rate of return expected by venture capitalists, or VCR.

Weighted Average Cost of Capital. We calculated the cost of equity of the business as of the valuation dates using the capital asset pricing model, or CAPM, the most commonly adopted method for estimating the required rate of return for equity. Under CAPM, the cost of equity is determined with consideration of, the risk-free rate, systematic risk, equity market premium, size of our company, the scale of our business and our ability in achieving forecasted projections. In deriving the WACCs, certain publicly traded companies involving social network were selected for reference as our guideline companies. To reflect the operating environment in China and the general sentiment in the U.S. capital markets towards the social network, the guideline companies were selected with consideration of the following factors: (i) the guideline companies should provide similar services, and (ii) the guideline companies should either have their principal operations in Asia Pacific region, as we operate in China, and/or are publicly listed companies in the United States as we plans to list our shares in the United States.

VCR. According to guidance prescribed by the AICPA Audit and Accounting Practice Aid, “Valuation of Privately-Held-Company Equity Securities Issued as Compensation,” because private enterprises often seek financing from private equity investors, including venture capital firms, the venture capital arena provides an observable market for the cost of capital for privately held enterprises. The expected return from venture capitalists for investing in our company when we were in expansion stage ranges from 35% to 50%. As we progress through early stage of development towards this offering, the expected return from venture capitalists for investing in our company gradually declines when we were in bridge and IPO stage, which generally range from 25% to 35%.

After considering the WACC, VCR, the relative risk of the industry and the characteristics of our company, we used a discount rate of 40% as of the valuation dates in April 2012 and 21% as of April 2014. The decrease in discount rates was primarily due to our business growth and additional funding from multiple series of preferred shares investments.

The above assumptions used in determining the fair values were consistent with our business plan and major milestones we achieved. We also applied general assumptions, including the following:

 

    there will be no major changes in the existing political, legal, fiscal and economic conditions in countries in which we will carry on our business;

 

    there will be no major changes in the current taxation law in countries in which we operates, that the rates of tax payable remain unchanged and that all applicable laws and regulations will be complied with;

 

    exchange rates and interest rates will not differ materially from those presently prevailing;

 

    the availability of financing will not be a constraint on the future growth of our operation;

 

    we will retain and have competent management, key personnel, and technical staff to support our ongoing operation; and

 

    industry trends and market conditions for related industries will not deviate significantly from economic forecasts.

Since our capital structure comprised convertible preferred shares and ordinary shares at each grant date, we used the option-pricing method to allocate equity value of our company to preferred and ordinary shares, taking into account the guidance prescribed by the Practice Aid. This method involves making estimates of the anticipated timing of a potential liquidity event, such as a sale of our company or an initial public offering, and estimates of the volatility of our equity securities. The anticipated timing is based on the plans of our board and

 

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management. Estimating the volatility of the share price of a privately held company is complex because there is no readily available market for the shares. We estimated the volatility of our shares based on historical volatility of guideline companies’ shares. Had we used different estimates of volatility, the allocations between preferred and ordinary shares would have been different.

We also applied a discount for lack of marketability, or DLOM, ranging from 33.5% to 14.0%, to reflect the fact that there is no ready market for shares in a closely-held company like us. When determining the DLOM, the Black-Scholes option pricing model was used. Under this option-pricing method, the cost of the put option, which can hedge the price change before the privately held shares can be sold, was considered as a basis to determine the discount for lack of marketability. This option pricing method was used because it takes into account certain company-specific factors, including the timing of the expected initial public offering and the volatility of the share price of the guideline companies engaged in the same industry.

The increase in the fair value of our ordinary shares from US$0.19 per share as of November 1, 2012 to US$0.40 per share as of October 8, 2013 was primarily attributable to the following factor:

 

    During this period, we experienced continuous growth in our active user base.

 

    We raised additional capital by issuing Series C preferred shares at US$1.25 per share in October 2013 to certain investors.

 

    We started monetization of our user base and generated revenue in the third quarter of 2013 primarily through sale of emoticons in our virtual store and our membership subscription services. In the third quarter of 2013, we negotiated online game operation agreements with mobile game developers and integrated online games with our application. Such business development reduced the uncertainties associated with our monetization and business plan. Therefore, we lowered the discount rate used in valuation of our ordinary shares from 35% as of November 1, 2012 to 30% as of October 8, 2013.

 

    As we progressed towards later stage of development and this offering, the liquidity of our ordinary shares increases, resulting in a decrease of lack of marketability discount from 33% as of November 1, 2012 to 20% as of October 8, 2013.

The increase in the fair value of our ordinary shares from US$0.40 per share as of October 8, 2013 to US$4.00 per share as of March 1, 2014 and further to US$4.22 as of April 22, 2014 was primarily attributable to the following factors:

 

    During this period, we experienced continuous growth in our active user base. We launched three mobile games and started generating mobile game revenues during this period. Taking into account the growth in our active user base and the progress of the monetization of our user base, we adjusted our forecasted revenues and earnings upward when preparing financial forecast for valuation as of March 1, 2014.

 

    We raised additional capital by issuing Series D preferred shares at US$4.85 per share in April 2014 to certain investors.

 

    We continued to strengthen our management and finance and accounting functions by appointing Mr. Jonathan Xiaosong Zhang, who has U.S. publicly listed company and extensive financial reporting and auditing experience, as our chief financial officer, whose appointment became effective in May 2014.

 

    As our size increases, small size premium, which is a component used in determining our discount rate, decreased. Furthermore, the substantial progress in our monetization, recruitment of key management with extensive experience, the start of our preparation for this offering and completion of Series D financing in April 2014, increased shareholders’ confidence in our business prospect and decreased the uncertainties associated with our financial forecasts. Therefore, we lowered the discount rate used in the valuation of our ordinary shares from 30% as of October 8, 2013 to 21% as of March 1, 2014 and 21% as of April 22, 2014.

 

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    As we progressed further towards this offering, we increased our estimated probability of a successful initial public offering. As our preferred shares would be automatically converted into ordinary shares upon the completion of a qualified offering, the increase in estimated probability of initial public offering success results in allocation of a higher portion of our business enterprise value to ordinary shares. The discount for lack of marketability also decreased from 20% as of October 8, 2013 to 14% as of April 22, 2014.

We believe that the increase in the fair value of our ordinary shares from US$4.22 as of April 22, 2014, to US$6.75 per share, or US$13.50 per ADS, the initial public offering price divided by the number of Class A ordinary shares represented by each ADS, was primarily attributable to the following factors:

 

    During this period, we experienced continuous growth in our active users and members basis. The number of monthly active users increased from 42.7 million in March 2014 to 60.2 million in September 2014. We further monetized our user base by introducing more mobile games during the period. We also plan to further monetize our user traffic through referring traffic from our platform to e-commerce companies, online marketplaces and other content or service providers. As a result, we adjusted our forecasted revenues and cash flows upward to reflect the growth of user base and progress of monetization plan, which in turn, reduced the uncertainties associated with our business plan and the underlying financial forecast.

 

    We continued to make substantial progress in the preparation for our initial public offering. This offering will increase the liquidity and marketability of our ordinary shares. It will also provide us with additional capital, enhance our ability to access capital markets and expand our business.

Share-based compensation

All share-based awards to employees and non-employee, including share options and restricted shares award, are measured at the grant date based on the fair value of the awards. Share-based compensation, net of forfeitures, is recognized as an expense on a straight-line basis over the requisite service period, which is the vesting period.

The following table sets forth certain information regarding the share options granted under our 2012 Plan to our employees and advisors at different dates in 2012, 2013 and the nine months ended September 30, 2014.

 

Grant Date

  

Category

   No. of
Options
Grant
     Exercise
Price per
Option
     Weighted
Average Fair
Value per
Option at the
Grant Dates
     Intrinsic
Value per
Option at
the Grant
Dates
     Type of
Valuation
 

November 1, 2012

   Staff      9,050,000       US$ 0.03       US$ 0.16       US$ 0.16         Retrospective   

November 1, 2012

   Non-employee      100,000       US$ 0.03       US$ 0.16       US$ 0.16         Retrospective   

October 10, 2013

   Staff      8,580,000       US$ 0.14       US$ 0.29       US$ 0.26         Retrospective   

October 10, 2013

   Management      5,500,000       US$ 0.14       US$ 0.30       US$ 0.26         Retrospective   

March 1, 2014

   Management      4,048,660       US$ 0.14       US$ 3.87       US$ 3.86         Retrospective   

March 1, 2014

   Staff      444,866       US$ 0.14       US$ 3.87       US$ 3.86         Retrospective   

March 1, 2014

   Non-employee      100,000       US$ 0.14       US$ 3.87       US$ 3.86         Retrospective   

We estimated the fair value of share options using the binomial option-pricing model with the assistance from an independent valuation firm. The fair value of each option grant is estimated on the date of grant with the following key assumptions:

 

     November 1, 2012     October 10, 2013     March 1, 2014  

Risk-free interest rate

     2.31     3.09     3.25

Contractual term (number of years)

     10        10        10   

Expected volatility

     61.70     54.40     53.70

Expected dividend yield

     0.00     0.00     0.00

 

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In October 2014, we granted to our employees options to purchase 2,963,500 ordinary shares with exercise price of $0.0002 per share and vesting period of 4 years. Given the proximity of the grant to our initial public offering, we used US$6.75, which is the initial public offering price per ordinary share, as the fair value per share underlying the options granted in October 2014. As a result, we expect to incur approximately US$20 million share-based compensation expense in connection with the October 2014 option grant over the four-year vesting period.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

Recent accounting pronouncements adopted

In July 2013, the FASB issued a pronouncement which provides guidance on financial statement presentation of an unrecognized tax benefits when a net operating loss carry forward, a similar tax loss, or a tax credit carry forward exists. The FASB’s objective in issuing this ASU is to eliminate diversity in practice resulting from a lack of guidance on this topic in current U.S. GAAP.

The amendments in this ASU state that an unrecognized tax benefit, or a portion of an unrecognized tax benefit, should be presented in the financial statements as a reduction to a deferred tax asset for a net operating loss carry forward, a similar tax loss, or a tax credit carry forward, except as follows. To the extent a net operating loss carry forward, a similar tax loss, or a tax credit carry forward is not available at the reporting date under the tax law of the applicable jurisdiction to settle any additional income taxes that would result from the disallowance of a tax position or the tax law of the applicable jurisdiction does not require the entity to use, and the entity does not intend to use, the deferred tax asset for such purpose, the unrecognized tax benefit should be presented in the financial statements as a liability and should not be combined with deferred tax assets.

This ASU applies to all entities that have unrecognized tax benefits when a net operating loss is carried forward, a similar tax loss, or a tax credit carry-forward exists at the reporting date. The amendments in this ASU are effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2013. Early adoption is permitted. The amendments should be applied prospectively to all unrecognized tax benefits that exist at the effective date. Retrospective application is permitted. The adoption of this guidance did not have a significant effect on our consolidated financial statements.

Recent accounting pronouncements not yet adopted

In May 2014, the FASB issued, ASU 2014-09, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606).” The guidance substantially converges final standards on revenue recognition between the FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board providing a framework on addressing revenue recognition issues and, upon its effective date, replaces almost all exiting revenue recognition guidance, including industry-specific guidance, in current U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

The core principle of the guidance is that an entity should recognize revenues to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. To achieve that core principle, an entity should apply the following steps:

 

    Step 1: Identify the contract(s) with a customer.

 

    Step 2: Identify the performance obligations in the contract.

 

    Step 3: Determine the transaction price.

 

    Step 4: Allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract.

 

    Step 5: Recognize revenue when (or as) the entity satisfies a performance obligation.

For a public entity, the amendments in this ASU are effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016, including interim periods within those reporting periods. Early application is not permitted. We are in the process of evaluating the impact of adoption of this guidance on our consolidated financial statements.

 

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In June 2014, the FASB issued a new pronouncement which requires that a performance target that affects vesting and that could be achieved after the requisite service period is treated as a performance condition. A reporting entity should apply existing guidance in Topic 718, Compensation—Stock Compensation, as it relates to awards with performance conditions that affect vesting to account for such awards. The performance target should not be reflected in estimating the grant-date fair value of the award. Compensation cost should be recognized in the period in which it becomes probable that the performance target will be achieved and should represent the compensation cost attributable to the period(s) for which the requisite service has already been rendered. If the performance target becomes probable of being achieved before the end of the requisite service period, the remaining unrecognized compensation cost should be recognized prospectively over the remaining requisite service period. The total amount of compensation cost recognized during and after the requisite service period should reflect the number of awards that are expected to vest and should be adjusted to reflect those awards that ultimately vest. The requisite service period ends when the employee can cease rendering service and still be eligible to vest in the award if the performance target is achieved. The amendments in this ASU are effective for annual periods and interim periods within those annual periods beginning after December 15, 2015. Earlier adoption is permitted. We do not expect the adoption of this guidance will have a significant effect on our consolidated financial statements.

In August 2014, the FASB issued a new pronouncement which provides guidance on determining when and how reporting entities must disclose going-concern uncertainties in their financial statements. The new standard requires management to perform interim and annual assessments of an entity’s ability to continue as a going concern within one year of the date of issuance of the entity’s financial statements. Further, an entity must provide certain disclosure if there is “substantial doubt about the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern.” The new standard is effective for fiscal years ending after December 15, 2016. We do not expect the adoption of this guidance to have a significant effect on our consolidated financial statements.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

Foreign Exchange Risk

Our revenues and costs are mostly denominated in RMB, and a significant portion of our financial assets are also denominated in RMB, whereas our reporting currency is the U.S. dollar. The Renminbi is not freely convertible into foreign currencies for capital account transactions. The value of the Renminbi against the U.S. dollar and other currencies is affected by, among other things, changes in China’s political and economic conditions and China’s foreign exchange policies. On July 21, 2005, the PRC government changed its decade-old policy of pegging the value of the RMB to the U.S. dollar, and the Renminbi appreciated more than 20% against the U.S. dollar over the following three years. Between July 2008 and June 2010, this appreciation halted and the exchange rate between the Renminbi and the U.S. dollar remained within a narrow band. Since June 2010, the PRC government has allowed the Renminbi to appreciate slowly against the U.S. dollar again. It is difficult to predict how market forces or PRC or U.S. government policy may impact the exchange rate between the Renminbi and the U.S. dollar in the future. To date, we have not entered into any hedging transactions in an effort to reduce our exposure to foreign currency exchange risk.

Our net revenues, as denominated in RMB, was RMB161.7 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2014. Assuming that we convert the full amount of our net revenues in the nine months ended September 30, 2014 into U.S. dollars, a 10% appreciation of the U.S. dollar against RMB, from a rate of RMB6.1650 to US$1.00, which was the average RMB to U.S. dollars exchange rate in the nine months ended September 30, 2014, to a rate of RMB6.7815 to US$1.00, will result in a decrease of US$2.4 million in our net revenues in the nine months ended September 30, 2014. Conversely, a 10% depreciation of the U.S. dollar against the RMB, from a rate of RMB6.1650 to US$1.00 to a rate of RMB5.5485 to US$1.00, will result in an increase of US$2.9 million in our net revenues in the nine months ended September 30, 2014.

Our net loss, as denominated in RMB, was RMB108.2 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2014. Assuming that we convert the full amount of our net loss in the first half of 2014 into U.S. dollars, a 10%

 

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appreciation of the U.S. dollar against RMB, from a rate of RMB6.1650 to US$1.00 to a rate of RMB6.7815 to US$1.00, will result in a decrease of US$1.5 million in our net loss in the nine months ended September 30, 2014. Conversely, a 10% depreciation of the U.S. dollar against the RMB, from a rate of RMB6.1650 to US$1.00 to a rate of RMB5.5485 to US$1.00, will result in an increase of US$2.0 million in our net loss in the nine months ended September 30, 2014.

Interest Rate Risk

Our exposure to interest rate risk primarily relates to the interest income generated by excess cash, which is mostly held in interest-bearing bank deposits. We generated interest income of US$3 thousand, US$32 thousand and US$0.3 million in 2012, 2013 and the nine months ended September 30, 2014, respectively. Interest-earning instruments carry a degree of interest rate risk. We have not been exposed to, nor do we anticipate being exposed to, material risks due to changes in market interest rates. However, our future interest income may fall short of expectations due to changes in market interest rates.

 

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INDUSTRY

Global Mobile Internet Market

The global mobile internet industry has witnessed rapid growth with the continuous enhancement of internet infrastructure, proliferation of mobile devices and advancement in wireless technology. According to eMarketer, global mobile internet users totaled 1.9 billion in 2013, representing a CAGR of 29.3% over 1.2 billion in 2011, and are expected to reach 3.0 billion in 2017.

Global mobile internet users

(in billions)

 

LOGO

Source: eMarketer, June 2014

China Mobile Internet Market

Similar to the global market, the mobile internet population in China has also grown substantially. According to eMarketer, the number of mobile internet users in China grew from 375.6 million in 2011 to 556.1 million in 2013, representing a CAGR of 21.7%, and is expected to further increase to 712.4 million in 2017.

China mobile internet users

(in millions)

 

LOGO

Source: eMarketer, June 2014

The rising popularity of smartphones is expected to fuel the growth of mobile internet usage in China. According to Analysys, smartphone shipments in China are expected to reach 592.5 million in 2017, rising from 343.1 million in 2013, representing a CAGR of 14.6%. The increasing affordability of new smartphone models is a key contributing factor to the rapid growth of the smartphone market in China. According to Analysys, smartphones sold for below RMB700.0 accounted only for approximately 10% of all smartphones sales in China in 2012, whereas in 2017, it is expected that approximately 40% of total smartphone sales in China will be below RMB700.

 

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Mobile Social Networking in China

Evolution of mobile social networking in China

Mobile social networking applications refer to social networking applications that are downloaded and installed on mobile devices. Mobile social networking in China has undergone three stages of evolution:

Stage one: social networking migrating from PC to mobile (2003-2011)

The launch of Mobile QQ in 2003 initiated the emergence of mobile social networking applications in China. During this period, mobile social networking applications were simple extensions of PC-based social networks and services onto mobile devices. For instance, Mobile QQ users were generally original desktop QQ users who wanted to keep connected with their QQ friends on mobile devices. Simple text messages and pictures were the main communication formats.

Stage two: social services integrating enhanced mobile features (2011-2012)

A number of social networking applications started to integrate some enhanced features of mobile devices, such as cameras and speakers, to perform specific social functions. Content exchanged on mobile social networking applications became more diverse in terms of formats. This stage witnessed the success of mobile Weibo and the emergence of Weixin.

Stage three: the rise of new social networking applications exclusively on mobile devices (2012-present)

With the further development of the mobile internet, new social networking applications that are exclusively available on mobile devices became popular. For instance, mobile location-based services gained strong momentum, which led to the fast growth of social networking applications, such as Momo, that connect users with each other. Innovative and popular mobile applications that have attracted a large user base have evolved into widely recognized social networking platforms with a variety of features and functionalities for users, customers and platform partners.

Mobile social instant messaging in China

Mobile social instant messaging, or mobile social IM, applications integrate both social networking and instant messaging functions via mobile internet.

Mobile social IM is the most popular activity among mobile internet users in China. According to Analysys, mobile social IM applications ranked the highest among all mobile applications in China in terms of the average number of times each user opens the application per day in the third quarter of 2014, followed by typing method applications and mobile security applications. The total number of registered accounts on mobile social IM applications in China reached 1.7 billion as of 2013, and is expected to reach 3.7 billion in 2017.

According to Analysys, Weixin, Mobile QQ and Momo ranked as the top three mobile social IM applications in China in terms of average MAUs, average DAUs and daily average length of usage per user in the third quarter of 2014; and Momo ranked No. 2, after Weixin, in terms of the average number of times each user opens the application per day during the same period.

Monetization Models of Mobile Social Networking Platforms in China

In China, mobile games and mobile marketing are common monetization methods for mobile-based social networking platforms.

 

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China mobile game market

Unlike console and PC games, mobile games can be played anytime and anywhere. Mobile games typically monetize through the in-game purchase of virtual items. According to Analysys, the mobile game market in China has expanded rapidly and reached a total market size of RMB13.9 billion (US$2.3 billion) in 2013 and is expected to further grow at a CAGR of 39.6% to RMB52.8 billion (US$8.7 billion) in 2017.

China mobile game market size

(RMB in billions)

 

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Source: Analysys, June 2014

Mobile games in China have begun to integrate with and benefit from synergies with mobile social networking platforms. Mobile social networking platforms are natural marketing and distribution channels for mobile games, able to direct to them large and stable user traffic and facilitate healthy growth by providing high quality game operating environment. In addition, mobile social networking platforms enhance player interaction and improve player stickiness through social functions such as player rankings, competitions, and in-game virtual item exchanges. On the other hand, mobile games help mobile social networking platforms attract and retain users, increase user engagement, enrich platform content, enhance user stickiness, and accelerate the monetization.

China mobile marketing market

Mobile marketing market in China has experienced rapid growth in recent years. According to Analysys, the size of the mobile marketing market in China reached RMB13.4 billion (US$2.2 billion) in 2013, and is expected to further grow at a CAGR of 69.5% to RMB110.8 billion (US$18.3 billion) in 2017.

China mobile marketing market size

(RMB in billions)

 

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Source: Analysys, June 2014.

 

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Mobile social networking platforms are rapidly changing the landscape of mobile marketing. The advantages of mobile social networking platforms are increasingly valued by advertisers. At any given moment, tens of millions of texts, pictures, videos, comments, web links and geographic locations are generated and shared on mobile social networking platforms. These data are accumulated and analyzed in order to improve the efficacy of advertising placements. Location-based services and interest-based socializing, in particular, allow mobile marketing customers to target more specific audiences or geographic regions. In addition, mobile social networking platforms transform mobile marketing from passive dissemination to active promotion. The interaction among mobile social networking platform users improves advertising effectiveness, giving platforms such as Weixin and Momo significant advantages. In addition, close personal relationships and frequent communications on these platforms make it possible to improve the efficiency of mobile marketing.

 

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BUSINESS

Overview

Momo connects people in a personal and lively way.

Momo is a revolutionary mobile-based social networking platform. We enable users to establish and expand social relationships based on location and interests. Our platform includes our Momo mobile application and a variety of related features, functionalities, tools and services that we provide to users, customers and platform partners. We have established Momo as one of China’s leading mobile social networking platforms in less than three years since our inception.

Momo has become an integral part of the daily lives of many people in China, where the increasing proliferation of smartphones and network enhancement allow more people to be connected anytime and anywhere. With powerful and precise location-based features, we enable our users to connect with each other and expand relationships from online to offline, thereby making their social networking experience more real, personal and multi-dimensional.

We aim to offer our users an authentic social experience by encouraging them to provide detailed personal information on Momo. Leveraging our social interest graph engine and our analysis of user behavior data, we are able to provide users a customized experience based on their social preferences and needs. Momo users can maintain and strengthen their relationships through our private and group communication tools, content creation and sharing functions, as well as the offline social activities promoted on our platform.

Our user base has grown rapidly since we launched Momo in August 2011, as evidenced by the following:

 

    We had 180.3 million registered users as of September 30, 2014, representing an increase of 160.8% from September 30, 2013.

 

    Our MAUs reached 60.2 million in September 2014, representing an increase of 112.8% from September 2013.

 

    Our average DAUs reached 25.5 million in September 2014, representing an increase of 140.6% from September 2013.

 

    We had 2.3 million members as of September 30, 2014, representing an increase of 659.9% from as of September 30, 2013.

 

    Our users sent a daily average of 655.2 million one-to-one messages, representing a daily average of 26 one-to-one messages per DAU, in September 2014; 63.5% of these messages were exchanged among people who had already followed each other.

Our large, growing and engaged user base creates powerful network effects and a high barrier to entry.

Amid the fast evolving mobile internet market in China, we have focused on building and growing our user base and improving user experience. Our Momo mobile application is free of charge. We began to generate revenues in July 2013 from our membership subscription package, which provides members with additional functions and privileges. We generated 68.1% of our net revenues from membership subscription fees in the nine months ended September 30, 2014. We also began to generate revenues from mobile games, paid emoticons and mobile marketing services in the second half of 2013. We believe our large, engaged user base makes Momo attractive to mobile marketing customers and platform partners. Our revenues increased significantly from US$0.8 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2013 to US$26.2 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2014. We had net losses of US$3.8 million, US$9.3 million and US$22.9 million in 2012, 2013 and the nine months ended September 30, 2014, respectively.

 

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Our Strengths

We believe our success to date is largely attributable to the following key competitive strengths:

A leading mobile-based social networking platform in China

We are a leading mobile-based social networking platform in China. According to Analysys, Momo ranked No. 2 among all mobile social IM applications in China in the third quarter of 2014, immediately after Weixin, in terms of the average number of times each user opens the application per day, and Momo ranked No. 3, immediately after Weixin and Mobile QQ, in terms of average MAUs, average DAUs and daily average length of usage per user during the same period.

Since we launched Momo three years ago, we have rapidly amassed a large user base in China primarily through organic growth. As of September 30, 2014, our registered users reached 180.3 million. In September 2014, our MAUs reached 60.2 million, an increase of 112.8% from September 2013; and our average DAUs reached 25.5 million, an increase of 140.6% from September 2013.

We believe that our large and highly engaged user base is an important business driver as it forms a large community in which our users can establish and expand social relationships based on location and interest. Our large user community provides a more captivating user experience, increases user stickiness and, in turn, attracts new users. In addition, our large and highly engaged user base provides us valuable data and feedback that enable us to fine-tune our services to better anticipate and meet the diverse social networking needs of our users, which further increases user stickiness and strengthens our leading market position. As a result, we believe that our large and highly engaged user base creates a high barrier to entry and allows us to compete effectively, continue to strengthen our brand and attract more users, customers and platform partners.

Innovative location-based social networking platform

We believe we are a pioneer in the location-based mobile social networking market in China. Through our proprietary technologies, our platform enables users to develop location-based online social relationships that they can then choose to further develop into offline relationships. In September 2014, our users on average refreshed their own Nearby People lists 167.0 million times every day.

Our Momo mobile application presents to users a curated list of nearby users, featuring pictures, proximity, last log-in time, and other detailed profile information on their personal page, such as gender, age, horoscope, occupation and interests. Our users can customize these lists by viewing nearby people with specific attributes. The detailed location and personal information allows users to discover nearby users whom they are interested in connecting or share similar interests with. Our application can precisely locate users in units of five meters. Users can contact each other via messaging or other communication tools on our platform to effectively develop new relationships.

Momo users can also create or participate in location-based groups, which are generally established around a certain point of interest, or POI. POIs include residential complexes, educational institutions, and commercial buildings, which are popular focal points for establishing and maintaining social relationships. Our location-based groups covered over 349 thousand residential complexes, 110 thousand educational institutions, and 84 thousand commercial buildings in China as of September 30, 2014. In these groups, users are able to interact with people nearby who share similar interests, making it easier for them to extend online interactions offline. We limit the size of each group to 100 users in order to foster closer communities with higher user engagement and more interactions. To cultivate offline social interactions among Momo users, our application features nearby offline events, such as concerts, plays and museum exhibits, where our users can gather and mingle.

 

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High user engagement powered by a variety of functionalities

Our large and organically growing user base, coupled with our high user engagement, has formed a strong network effect. Our users sent a daily average of 655.2 million one-to-one messages in September 2014, 63.5% of which were exchanged among people who had already followed each other. In September 2014, on average each DAU launched our application 20 times and used our application for 34 minutes on a daily basis.

Our location-based groups have also expanded significantly. Our users have formed 4.5 million groups based on various locations and interests as of September 30, 2014. Our monthly active location-based groups have grown from 0.7 million in September 2013 to 2.0 million in September 2014. Users in our location-based groups are highly engaged because these groups are typically interest-focused. Users located in nearby neighborhoods and who share the same interests are more likely to interact with each other. An average of 222.4 million messages in location-based groups were sent every day in September 2014, representing a daily average of 208 messages sent in an active group. Our location-based groups have been increasingly used, as 44.7% of our DAUs in September 2014 have joined at least one group, up from 33.9% in September 2013.

In addition to Nearby People and Groups, our application also features Message Board, Topics and Nearby Events, all of which enhance user stickiness by providing more contents for users to interact with each other based on location and interests. To further enhance user stickiness, we also offer mobile games on our platform.

Superior user experience supported by strong technology capabilities

We are focused on providing a superior user experience. We believe we are at the forefront of social mobile service development and technological application. Our platform is built on technologies that can process and analyze bulk data generated by millions of users instantaneously. Our big data analytical capabilities enable us to develop an in-depth understanding of our users and categorize users based on their social preferences and behavioral patterns. Leveraging our analysis of user behavior data, as well as our social interest graph recommendation engine, we have developed a tiering system for our users whereby each user is assigned a score based primarily on his or her behavioral patterns, profile creditability, degree of engagement, and quality of interactions with other users. By classifying our users in this fashion, we can connect users to each other based on their social preferences and needs and increase the likelihood of establishing a new relationship. By doing so, we are able to foster a healthier ecosystem and encourage mutual respect and trust within Momo communities.

We have rich experience in developing location-based mobile services. Our technology enables more precise location identification and the implementation of various other innovative location-based functions on our platform. Our proprietary networking protocols ensure fast, reliable, and stable mobile communications under different network environments and across different mobile devices. Our proprietary scalable distributed storage system reduces our storage costs and enhances stability for our large user base. Our technological expertise and experience allow us to quickly identify, anticipate and address the needs of our users, and will enable us to continue to introduce new features to enhance user experience and increase user stickiness.

Visionary and experienced management team

Our senior management team has strong passion and vision in the mobile internet industry. The team possesses extensive experience in China’s internet industry and a deep understanding of China’s young population. Many of our senior management have experience in working at renowned internet companies, where they have accumulated strong execution and management capabilities. We have developed a cohesive and vibrant corporate culture that inspires and encourages innovation, which we believe helps us to attract, retain and motivate an aspiring team to drive our fast growth. Under the leadership of our senior management team, we have developed strong execution capabilities which have enabled us to grow to our current scale and to achieve the market leadership in a short period of time. Mr. Yan Tang, our co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer, was named by Fortune Magazine as one of its “40 Under 40,” a list of the most powerful, influential and important business elites under the age of 40 in October 2014.

 

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Our Strategies

We believe that we have significant opportunities to further enhance the value we deliver to our users, customers and platform partners. We plan to execute the following growth strategies:

Expand our user community

The most critical element in our growth strategy is to rapidly expand our user community. China has the world’s largest smartphone population and is currently our biggest market. We plan to further increase our market share in China by, among other things, increasing our penetration among users across different age groups.

We will continue to build our presence among Chinese speaking populations around the world and seek to foster a broader and more engaged user community. We also plan to launch a new mobile application designed to attract English speakers.

Enhance our user experience

User engagement is instrumental to the growth of our business. We seek to provide the most captivating user experience to increase user engagement and build a more trustworthy, dynamic and healthy social networking ecosystem.

We will focus on building tools for data analytics and analyzing user behavior patterns and level of engagement. We plan to further fine tune our user tiering system, expand communication channels among users, and promote more interactions among Momo users. In addition, we will continue optimizing our service features and functions to allow more users to communicate via Momo and discover its unique service features that can then expand their social relationships.

We believe new generations of mobile devices will build in more multimedia features. We plan to work with more content providers to diversify the entertainment options on our platform, including online music, books and videos. This greater variety of content will provide a more integrated and engaging mobile social platform to enrich the interaction among our users.

Increase monetization capabilities

We plan to increase revenues generated through membership subscription fees by offering more premium services to our frequent users and new functionalities accessible by members only. We will also develop a loyalty program that provides membership packages with special privileges to different tiers of members, which we believe can enhance user stickiness and membership conversion. In addition, we intend to furnish more online to offline services to our members by partnering with local businesses to offer promotions, such as shopping reward points, movie coupons and food vouchers. We believe that expanding offerings available exclusively to members will encourage more users to subscribe to our membership services.

We plan to partner with third-party game developers and to develop games in-house in order to offer more games tailored to our platform, which we believe will not only increase the interactions among users and communication within groups, but also broaden our revenue sources.

We will continue to build our mobile marketing business. Leveraging on our unique location-based services and technologies, as well as our big data analytical capabilities, we can connect our users with local merchants by distributing more local lifestyle, shopping and entertainment information to our users. In addition, we plan to develop more innovative and native advertising and comprehensive mobile marketing solutions for our mobile marketing customers. In August 2014, we launched Dao Dian Tong, our marketing solution for local merchants.

 

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Through Dao Dian Tong, we allow local merchants to set up business profile pages, including business descriptions and illustrative pictures, on our mobile application. Our users are able to communicate with these local merchants using our instant messaging function and archive local businesses that they like. As of September 30, 2014, we have received over 110 thousand applications from local merchants intending to set up business profile pages through Dao Dian Tong. We believe that our location-based features and the high degree of user personalization, which focus on topics of personal interest and entertainment offered on our platform, will allow us to make targeted offers to our users that will enhance their experience. We plan to further monetize our user traffic through referring traffic from our platform to e-commerce companies, online marketplaces and other content or service providers. For example, we plan to monetize user traffic on our Nearby People function through cooperating with Alibaba to place targeted marketing of the merchants on Alibaba’s marketplaces to our users on our application, for which we would share the marketing revenues Alibaba generates from the merchants that use its marketplaces. Furthermore, we will cooperate with online marketplaces, such as 58.com, by providing our users easy access to their marketplaces through the Discover function on our platform, for which we will generate marketing revenues.

Pursue strategic partnerships and acquisitions

We plan to continue to strengthen our relationships with platform partners through joint development arrangements, co-branding initiatives and marketing campaigns. We intend to selectively seek strategic opportunities, including investments in and acquisitions of complementary technologies, in order to expand our services in light of evolving technologies as well as changing user and customer demands.

The Momo Platform

Our Momo platform includes our Momo mobile application and a variety of related features, functionalities, tools and services that we provide to users, customers and platform partners. The Momo mobile application, which is available on Android, iOS and Windows platforms, enables users to establish and expand their social relationships based on locations and interests. Momo offers a personal and lively way for users to discover people nearby, and we facilitate the connecting, communicating, interacting, and content sharing with others. Momo features various location and interest-based features, such as Nearby People, Groups, Message Board, Topics and Nearby Events, multi-media instant messaging tools, as well as popular mobile games. Our various functions are connected with each other. For example, our Nearby People function features links to nearby Groups and Nearby Events.

Nearby People. This function allows users to find out the approximate distance from each other in real time and is the primary tool through which users can establish and expand their social relationships. In September 2014, our users on average refreshed their own Nearby People lists 167.0 million times every day.

Once our Momo mobile application is launched on a smartphone, the default page presents a curated list of nearby users with their profile pictures, precise distance from the nearby users and the time they last checked-in on Momo prominently displayed. The list of nearby people is by default ordered by proximity to the application users. All users can customize the list by viewing nearby people by gender and a specific period of time within which the nearby people last checked in. Users can initiate contact with nearby users by sending greeting messages and selecting to follow their accounts in order to receive notifications on their status updates. A user who receives a greeting message may then reply and choose to become a Momo friend of the initiator by also following such user. Users can adjust their privacy settings to avoid being seen by strangers or to appear invisible. Our application also allows users to block other users and report inappropriate behaviors. Our members may further filter the list of nearby users by age group, occupation, horoscope and whether the nearby person has linked his or her Momo account with other popular social network applications.

 

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We enhance user stickiness by providing a comprehensive suite of push notifications, which include status updates, greetings from nearby users, chat messages and location of Momo friends. Our application will also notify users when their Momo friends come within close proximity. We also keep users up-to-date on the latest postings in their groups, as well as groups that their Momo friends have joined.

 

 

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User Profile. This function allows users to share basic personal information and interests and encourage interactions. To begin the Momo experience, after downloading and installing the application, each user is asked to fill out a profile featuring pictures and detailed personal information, such as name, age, horoscope, occupation, employer, school, relationship status, date of registration with Momo, groups and topics joined, interests, accounts at other social network applications, frequent places of appearance and a personal note. Members can also post a voice recording as part of their profile. The profile page also contains a link to a chronologically arranged display of status updates, blogs and pictures posted by the user, allowing the user to share his or her experience and interest. Our users viewed personal profile pages on our platform an average of 446.3 million times on a daily basis in September 2014.

To further improve user experience, we have developed a tiering system whereby each user is assigned one of six scores based primarily on his or her behavioral patterns, profile credibility, degree of engagement, and quality of interactions with other users. Each user can monitor the score on his or her profile page. A user can generally improve his or her tiering score by demonstrating a pattern of wholesome social behavioral, a credible social profile, active engagement and high quality interactions with other users.

 

 

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Groups. Our application allows users to create and participate in location-based groups across POIs (residential complexes, educational institutions and commercial buildings). Participation in location-based groups has been increasing among our users, as 44.7% of our DAUs in September 2014 have joined at least one group, up from 33.9% in September 2013. Our users viewed group profile pages on our platform an average of 49.3 million times on a daily basis in September 2014. Location-based groups are generally established around a certain topic of interest. Each group is given a shared Momo discussion page on which group members can discuss their common interests, post their photos and exchange messages. An average of 222.4 million messages in location-based groups were sent every day, representing a daily average of 208 messages sent per active group, in September 2014. A group in which users sent at least one message in the relevant period is considered an active group.

Our users can create groups by first selecting a specific location around which the group is centered, which must be associated with a specific residential complex, educational institution or commercial building, and second, selecting a topic of interest for the group. For example, a user can create a group for students at Peking University who are interested in photography. We limit the size of each group to 100 users in order to foster a closer, more engaged and interactive community. The maximum size of a particular group is determined by whether the group’s creator is a member and the activity level of the group, such as the frequency of messaging among users. Our application displays nearby groups created by users as ranked by proximity. A user must apply to join a nearby group, and membership admission is determined by the creator and managers of the group. In addition to our default distance-based listing of nearby groups, users are also able to search for groups using keywords. To further enhance interaction, we also display who among the people that a user has followed are members of a particular group.

Users can propose and organize offline events for the location-based groups. A separate page will be created for an event containing information about the activity such as type, venue and time, based on which group members can decide whether to join the event and confirm attendance. A list of confirmed attendees will be shown on the activity page as well.

 

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To enhance the synergies between our social functions and mobile games offered on our platform, we have established groups for our mobile games players called Player Unions. Our Player Unions provide users with increased opportunities to interact and foster closer social relationships.

 

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Topics. Our Topics is another feature aimed at enabling users to discover other users with common interests. Our Topics present popular themes of interest to all users. Users who have joined a certain Topic, such as Fitness or Pets, can post threads and interact with other users by replying to the threads. Users can view other users who have joined the same Topic, in the order of proximity. We also recommend popular Topics and threads to users based on their profiles. Users can also search for Topics that most interest them.

 

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Topics are created by us based on user feedback. Daily management of a Topic is delegated to the Topics host, who is responsible for selecting priority postings, and monitoring posted content for inappropriate, off-topic or unlawful materials. In September 2014, a daily average of 2.7 million new comments were added to our Topics.

 

 

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Message Board. An important entry point for users to interact with all other users nearby is our Message Board function. Our Message Board contains status updates, micro-blogs and photos posted by nearby users, facilitating connections between people in the same neighborhoods and among Momo friends. Users can comment on the postings made by others, which are arranged by proximity. Our users posted a daily average of 16.4 million messages and comments on our Message Board in September 2014. On average, 71.0% of our DAUs viewed our Message Board in September 2014. Our Message Board function has proven to be an effective means of stimulating interaction and creating social relationships among our users.

 

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Nearby Events. To facilitate offline interaction between our users and to promote our brand, we publicize events taking place in various Chinese cities close to our users, such as concerts, seminars, sport events, plays and exhibitions.

We cooperate with leading event promoters and ticketing platforms in China to upload information about popular events onto Momo. Moreover, event hosts can open a Momo account and promote their events on our platform by submitting a description of the event to us. Once we approve an event submission, it will appear on our Nearby Events page. For highly popular events, our sales team will actively seek to partner with the hosts in order to promote our brand and potentially explore monetization opportunities. For example, we have partnered with the Strawberry Music Festival, a rock ’n’ roll phenomenon among China’s youth since 2013.

 

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Our users can search and filter events by date, type, distance, popularity and number of attendees. Our users can sign up for the events and view other people who have expressed interest in attending, to whom they may send invitations to attend the event together. After a user has signed up for an event, it is added to his/her Momo event calendar in our application. We have publicized a total of 49 thousand offline events, and our users had signed up for such offline events for over 11 million times as of September 30, 2014.

 

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Location Roaming. To enrich our service features and make our platform more fun for our users, we introduced the location roaming function, through which users can view other Momo users in a randomly selected city around the world. For our members, our roaming function further allows them to actively select any location around the world and view a curated list of Momo users according to selected criteria. This function also allows travelers to get to know friends in a particular destination in advance.

 

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Instant Messaging. Our application also provides instant messaging function, with which users can send text, emoticons, voice recordings, pictures and video messages to other users. Many of our fun and trendy emoticons are inspired by characters in popular culture. One of the key features of our instant messaging function is that the dialogue window presents the distance between the two parties in real time. Senders can see whether their messages have been delivered to or read by the recipient. Our instant messaging feature also allows users to turn voice messages into text, share their location information and engage in multi-person group chats. Users can sync their chat histories with multiple devices. We have also embedded third-party applications in order to facilitate more interaction between our users. Our users sent a daily average of 655.2 million one-to-one messages, representing a daily average of 26 one-to-one messages per DAU, in September 2014.

 

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Mobile Games

Our application offers games developed by third-party developers and customized for our platform and user profile. Games on our platform are designed with a variety of themes, cultural characteristics and features to appeal to different segments of the game player community. The games on our platform have rich social features and are developed to be enjoyed, shared and played among Momo friends. Our users typically log into and play our games with their Momo accounts. For example, in our popular mobile game Momo Craft ( LOGO ), players compete with other Momo users for domination of castles in a fictitious kingdom. Such social features contribute to the high player stickiness of mobile games offered on our platform. As of September 30, 2014, games on our platform had been activated a total of 22.5 million times, with a total number of 16.1 million players.

Monetization Opportunities

We started monetization in July 2013. We currently generate revenues primarily from membership subscription fees, mobile games and other services. Because we started to monetize from the third quarter of 2013 only, we cannot confirm or otherwise describe the seasonality of our business as a result of this very short history of monetization.

 

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Membership Subscription

We provide enhanced membership privileges to users who subscribe to our membership package by paying membership fees. Enhanced privileges include VIP logos, advanced search options, discounts in our emoticon store, higher limits on the maximum number of users group and the number of users that the member can follow, the ability to add a 60 second voice recording to the profile page, to search for Momo users anywhere in the world using our location roaming services, to see a list of recent visitors to their profile page and to appear invisible to specific users. We offer four membership subscription packages to our users, priced at RMB12 (US$2) per month, RMB30 (US$5) per three months, RMB60 (US$10) per six months and RMB108 (US$18) per year, respectively. We offer diverse payment options for users to pay membership subscription fees, including third-party online channels, such as Apple App Store and Alipay, as well as through mobile phone payment channels, including prepaid cell-phone recharge cards. We had 2.3 million members as of September 30, 2014. We intend to continue exploring different ways to expand our members-only offerings so as to better serve our members and attract a larger membership base.

Mobile Games

As a social networking platform, we intend to offer games that have strong features which we believe will not only increase the interactions between users and communication within groups, but also broaden our revenue sources. Such games may be developed by third parties, where we share revenues generated by in-game purchases of virtual items with such developers, or developed in-house.

Other Services

Our other services include paid emoticons and mobile marketing services. Our virtual store currently features free and paid stylish and trendy emoticons designed in-house and by third-parties, many of which are inspired by characters in popular culture. We also design customized emoticons for nearby activities that are being promoted on our platform, for our mobile marketing service customers, as well as emoticons for users living in specific geographical areas.

We seek to provide mobile marketing solutions to enable our customers and platform partners to promote their brands and conduct effective marketing activities on our platform. Our mobile marketing services currently include banner ads placement for businesses and Dao Dian Tong for local merchants. In August 2014, we launched Dao Dian Tong, our marketing solution for local merchants. Through Dao Dian Tong, we allow local merchants to set up business profile pages, including business descriptions and illustrative pictures, on our mobile application. Our dedicated staff verify the authenticity of each local merchant, and certify to our users that each business profile page is genuine. Our users are able to communicate with local merchants using our instant messaging function and archive local businesses that they like. As of September 30, 2014, we have received over 110 thousand applications from local merchants intending to set up business profile pages through Dao Dian Tong. We charge local merchants for our Dao Dian Tong marketing solution based on the number of users that can access their business profile pages. Leveraging our rich user data, our services allow customers to market precisely to their targeted audience. Customers have the ability to improve the relevance of their marketing based on users’ social interest graphs, a collection of data that we create for each user that draws upon a variety of factors, including demographics, social relationships and interests. We believe that our location-based features and the high degree of user personalization, which focus on topics of personal interest and entertainment offered on our platform, will allow us to make targeted offers to our users that will enhance their experience. We plan to further monetize our user traffic through referring traffic from our platform to e-commerce companies, online marketplaces and other content or service providers. For example, we plan to monetize user traffic on our Nearby People function through cooperating with Alibaba to place targeted advertisements of the merchants on Alibaba’s marketplaces to our users on our application, for which we would share the marketing revenues Alibaba generates from the merchants that use its marketplaces. Furthermore, we will cooperate with online marketplaces, such as 58.com, by providing our users easy access to their marketplaces through the Discover function on our platform, for which we will generate marketing revenues.

 

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Technology

Our proprietary networking protocols ensure fast, reliable and stable mobile communications under different network environments in China. Our architecture focus on providing consistent user experience across different mobile devices, operating systems and network environments, which is particularly necessary in China given the wide variety of choices of mobile devices, operating systems and mobile networks.

Social Interest Graph Recommendation Engine

We have developed a comprehensive database of user social interests from the activities on our platform. We create a social interest profile for each user account based on user actions, such as group and topics memberships, social relationships, as well as demographic data such as age, gender and location. Based on these social interest profiles, our recommendation engine allows us to push content to Momo users who are more likely to find such content interesting and relevant. We believe that social context can improve the relevance of advertisements and make them a more integral part of the user experience, rather than an interruption of it. Therefore, we are continually refining our recommendation engine to improve the relevance of information we push to users.

Leveraging on our social interest graph recommendation engine and our analysis of user behavior data, we have developed a tiering system whereby each user is assigned one of six scores based on his or her behavioral patterns. Each user can monitor his or her tiering system score on our application. Using such a tiering system, we aim to enable users to connect with each other and maintain relationships based on their mutual social preferences and needs, thereby increasing the likelihood of establishing a new relationship and strengthening existing relationships. We use our tiering system to foster a healthy ecosystem and to deter harassment and other undesirable behaviors on our platform.

Scalable Distributed Storage

Our proprietary model optimizes and facilitates cost-effective data storage by building memory on solid state drives. This distributed storage model allows us to efficiently and securely manage a large amount of data while storing data on servers that are easily scalable.

Service Oriented Architecture

Our platform adopts service-oriented architecture that allows efficient software development and frequent upgrading of our services. Our platform is built on technologies that can facilitate cost-effective learning and joint research and development across different coding languages.

Precision in Locating Users

Location is a key attribute of our social networking platform. Our rich experience in location-based technology has allowed us to develop technology capable of precisely locating static or mobile users within units of five meters horizontally. We believe our ability to locate users with this precision is unique in our industry.

Content Management and Monitoring

As of the date of this prospectus, we have a dedicated team of over 100 personnel reviewing and handling content on our mobile platform for compliance with applicable laws and regulations. They are aided by both proprietary and third-party software and technologies to sweep our platform and the data being transmitted on a real-time basis around-the-clock. We monitor and screen user information and user generated content against a spam list, which is a list of content and behaviors that we have determined are likely to be indicative of inappropriate or illegal content or illegal activities. Additionally, Momo users can also easily report fraud if they come across suspicious content, and each user complaint is processed by our content management and monitoring system.

 

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Our corporate policy requires a user to accept our terms of use during the registration process before becoming a Momo user. In the user agreement, the user makes certain acknowledgments and covenants, including, among others, (i) the user is solely responsible for the authenticity, legality, harmlessness and relevancy of all information submitted for registration purpose or delivered to other users, (ii) the user is not impersonating other people or spreading information in the name of others, (iii) the user alone is responsible for any losses or injuries arising from or caused by the content on our platform and (iv) the user agrees to indemnify us for our losses or injuries arising from or caused by the activities of or content generated by the user.

Branding and Marketing

Since our inception, our user base has grown primarily by word-of-mouth which has enabled us to build our brand with relatively low marketing costs. We historically have focused our branding and marketing efforts on online promotions via popular search engines and third-party application stores.

We recently diversified our marketing efforts by sponsoring offline events that are popular among the young generation, such as the Strawberry Music Festival in China, as well as placing the outdoor ads in subways, bus stops and taxis in various major Chinese cities. We also launched a series of brand promotional videos titled “I Am One of Momo” in the form of tastefully cinematographed micro-films starring trendy Momo users in a variety of modern professions.

Customer Service

As of the date of this prospectus, we have a dedicated team of over 30 customer service personnel in our customer service center in Chengdu, China, who support our members and mobile game players. Our dedicated customer service team is well-trained on our membership services and mobile games functionalities. For our users who subscribed to our membership services, our customer service personnel provide around-the-clock support through a members-only toll-free phone number and other online communication channels. Our customer service team helps our members with issues they encounter on our mobile platform, gathers feedback on how to improve our services and receives member complaints and suggestions. Our customer service team also addresses issues that our mobile game players encounter and gathers player feedback on the functionality and popularity of the mobile games we offer.

Intellectual Property

We rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret laws and restrictions on disclosure to protect our intellectual property rights. We have registered 11 trademarks and applied for 48 trademarks with the Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry & Commerce of the PRC. We have registered 18 software copyrights and 30 copyrights with the PRC National Copyright Administration and applied for registration of 4 software copyrights and 3 copyrights with the PRC National Copyright Administration. We have also registered four domain names, including immomo.com, wemomo.com, immomogame.com, and momocdn.com.

Competition

As a mobile social networking platform, we are subject to intense competition from providers of similar services as well as potential new types of online services, including interest-based social products. These services include various mobile applications, such as Weixin and Mobile QQ.

Our competitors may have substantially more cash, traffic, technical and other resources, as well as broader product or service offerings and can leverage their relationships based on other products or services to gain a larger share of marketing budgets from customers. We believe that our ability to compete effectively depends upon many factors, including the size, composition and engagement of our user base, our ad targeting capabilities, market acceptance of our mobile marketing services, our marketing and selling efforts, and the strength and reputation of our brand. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Business and Industry—The

 

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market in which we participate is fragmented and highly competitive. If we are unable to compete effectively for users or cannot maintain our user engagement, our business and operating results may be materially and adversely affected.” We also experience significant competition for highly skilled personnel, including management, engineers, designers and product managers. Our growth strategy depends in part on our ability to retain our existing personnel and add additional highly skilled employees. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Business and Industry—The continuing and collaborative efforts of our senior management and key employees are crucial to our success, and our business may be harmed if we were to lose their services.”

Employees

We had 76 and 209 employees as of December 31, 2012 and 2013, respectively. As of September 30, 2014, we had 358 employees, including 317 employees in Beijing, 30 employees in Chengdu and 11 employees in the U.S. The following table sets forth the numbers of our employees categorized by function as of September 30, 2014.

 

     As of September 30, 2014  

Function:

  

Operations

     31   

Service development

     148   

General administration and human resources

     59   

Sales, customer service and marketing

     120   
  

 

 

 

Total

     358   
  

 

 

 

In addition to our full-time employees, we used 129 contract workers dispatched to us by staffing agencies as of September 30, 2014. These contract workers are primarily responsible for content management and monitoring and for customer service.

As required by laws and regulations in China, we participate in various employee social security plans that are organized by municipal and provincial governments, including housing, pension, medical insurance and unemployment insurance. We are required under Chinese law to make contributions to employee benefit plans at specified percentages of the salaries, bonuses and certain allowances of our employees, up to a maximum amount specified by the local government from time to time.

We typically enter into standard confidentiality and employment agreements with our management and service development personnel. These contracts include a standard non-compete covenant that prohibits the employee from competing with us, directly or indirectly, during his or her employment and for two years after the termination of his or her employment, provided that we pay compensation equal to a certain percentage of the employee’s salary during the restriction period in accordance with applicable laws.

We believe that we maintain a good working relationship with our employees, and we have not experienced any labor disputes. None of our employees are represented by labor unions.

Facilities

Our headquarters and our principal service development facilities are located in Beijing. We have leased an aggregate of approximately 8,100 square meters of office space in Beijing and Chengdu as of September 30, 2014. These leases vary in duration from two to three years.

The servers that we use to provide our services are primarily maintained at various third-party internet data centers in Beijing and Tianjin.

 

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Insurance

We do not maintain property insurance, business interruption insurance or general third-party liability insurance, nor do we maintain product liability insurance or key-man insurance.

Legal Proceedings

We are currently not a party to any material legal or administrative proceedings. We may from time to time be subject to various legal or administrative claims and proceedings arising in the ordinary course of business. Litigation or any other legal or administrative proceeding, regardless of the outcome, is likely to result in substantial cost and diversion of our resources, including our management’s time and attention.

 

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REGULATION

This section sets forth a summary of the most significant rules and regulations that affect our business activities in China or our shareholders’ rights to receive dividends and other distributions from us.

Corporate Laws and Industry Catalog Relating to Foreign Investment

The establishment, operation and management of corporate entities in China are governed by the Company Law of the PRC, or the Company Law, effective in 1994, as amended in 1999, 2004, 2005 and 2013, respectively. The Company Law is applicable to our PRC subsidiary and consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary unless the PRC laws on foreign investment have stipulated otherwise.

The establishment, approval, registered capital requirement and day-to-day operational matters of wholly foreign-owned enterprises, such as our PRC subsidiary, are regulated by the Wholly Foreign-owned Enterprise Law of the PRC effective in 1986, as amended in 2000, and the Implementation Rules of the Wholly Foreign-owned Enterprise Law of the PRC effective in 1990, as amended in 2001 and 2014.

Investment activities in the PRC by foreign investors are principally governed by the Guidance Catalog of Industries for Foreign Investment, or the Catalog, which was promulgated and is amended from time to time by the Ministry of Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission. The Catalog divides industries into three categories: encouraged, restricted and prohibited. Industries not listed in the Catalog are generally open to foreign investment unless specifically restricted by other PRC regulations.

Establishment of wholly foreign-owned enterprises is generally permitted in encouraged industries. Some restricted industries are limited to equity or contractual joint ventures, while in some cases Chinese partners are required to hold the majority interests in such joint ventures. In addition, restricted category projects are subject to higher level government approvals. Foreign investors are not allowed to invest in industries in the prohibited category. For example, pursuant to the latest Catalog amended in 2011, the provision of value-added telecommunications services falls in the restricted category and the percentage of foreign ownership cannot exceed 50%.

To comply with such foreign ownership restrictions, we operate our businesses in China through Beijing Momo, which is owned by PRC citizens. Beijing Momo is controlled by Beijing Momo IT through a series of contractual arrangements. Beijing Momo holds an internet content provider, or ICP, license to provide value-added telecommunication services, which is an industry in which foreign investment is “restricted” under the currently effective Catalog.

Beijing Momo IT is currently engaged in the business of software development, which is an industry in which foreign investment is “encouraged” under the currently effective Catalog.

Regulations Relating to Telecommunications Services

In September 2000, the State Council issued the Regulations on Telecommunications of China, or the Telecommunications Regulations, to regulate telecommunication activities in China. The telecommunications industry in China is governed by a licensing system based on the classifications of the telecommunications services set forth under the Telecommunications Regulations.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, together with the provincial-level communications administrative bureaus, supervises and regulates the telecommunications industry in China. The Telecommunications Regulations divide the telecommunications services into two categories: infrastructure telecommunications services and value-added telecommunications services. The operation of value-added telecommunications services is subject to the examination, approval and licenses granted by the Ministry of

 

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Industry and Information Technology or its provincial-level communications administrative bureaus. According to the Catalog of Classification of Telecommunications Businesses effective in April 2003, provision of information services through the internet, such as the operation of our immomo.com.com website, is classified as value-added telecommunications services.

Regulations Relating to Foreign Investment in Value-Added Telecommunications Industry

According to the Administrative Rules for Foreign Investment in Telecommunications Enterprises issued by the State Council effective in January 2002, as amended in September 2008, a foreign investor may hold no more than a 50% equity interest in a value-added telecommunications services provider in China and such foreign investor must have experience in providing value-added telecommunications services overseas and maintain a good track record. Due to these regulations, we operate our website through Beijing Momo and its subsidiary. The most updated version of Guiding Catalog for Foreign Investment Industries, which was promulgated by the MOFCOM and the National Development and Reform Commission and became effective from January 30, 2012, or the Guiding Catalog, imposes the 50% restrictions on foreign ownership in value-added telecommunications business as well.

The Circular on Strengthening the Administration of Foreign Investment in and Operation of Value-added Telecommunications Business, or the Circular, issued by the former Ministry of Information Industry in July 2006, reiterated the regulations on foreign investment in telecommunications businesses, which require foreign investors to set up foreign-invested enterprises and obtain an internet content provider, or ICP, license to conduct any value-added telecommunications business in China. Under the Circular, a domestic company that holds an ICP license is prohibited from leasing, transferring or selling the license to foreign investors in any form, and from providing any assistance, including providing resources, sites or facilities, to foreign investors that conduct value-added telecommunications business illegally in China. Furthermore, certain relevant assets, such as the relevant trademarks and domain names that are used in the value-added telecommunications business must be owned by the local ICP license holder or its shareholders. The Circular further requires each ICP license holder to have the necessary facilities for its approved business operations and to maintain such facilities in the regions covered by its license. In addition, all value-added telecommunications service providers are required to maintain network and information security in accordance with the standards set forth under the relevant PRC regulations. If an ICP license holder fails to comply with the requirements in the Circular and also fails to remedy such non-compliance within a specified period of time, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology or its local counterparts have the discretion to take administrative measures against such license holder, including revoking its ICP license. Beijing Momo, the operator of our website, owns the relevant domain names and registered trademarks and has the necessary personnel to operate the website.

Regulations on Internet Publication and Cultural Products

The Tentative Measures for Internet Publication Administration, or Internet Publication Measures, were jointly promulgated by the General Administration of Press and Publication and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on June 27, 2002 and became effective on August 1, 2002. Pursuant to the Internet Publication Measures, any act by an internet information service provider to select, edit and process content or programs and to make such content or programs available on the internet for the public to read, use and download shall constitute an internet publication. The provision of online games is deemed an internet publication activity and therefore, an online game operator shall obtain an Internet Publishing License so that it can directly offer its online games to the public in the PRC. As of the date of this prospectus, we have not yet obtained an Internet Publishing License, and are in the process of preparing the application documents.

Regulations on Online Games and Foreign Ownership Restrictions

Pursuant to the Guidance Catalog, the Internet culture business (other than online music business) falls within the category of industries prohibiting foreign investment. On February 17, 2011, the Ministry of Culture issued the revised Interim Provisions on the Administration of Internet Culture, or the Internet Culture Interim

 

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Provisions, effective as of April 1, 2011. According to the Internet Culture Interim Provisions, “Internet cultural products” are defined as including the online games specially produced for Internet and games reproduced or provided through Internet. Provision of operating Internet cultural products and related services is subject to the approval of the Ministry of Culture or its provincial counterpart.

On June 3, 2010, the Ministry of Culture promulgated the Provisional Administration Measures of Online Games, or the Online Game Measures, which came into effect on August 1, 2010. The Online Game Measures governs the research, development and operation of online games and the issuance and trading services of virtual currency. Under the Online Game Measures, all operators of online games, issuers of virtual currencies and providers of virtual currency trading services, or Online Game Business Operators, are required to obtain Internet Culture Operation Licenses. An Internet Culture Operation License is valid for three years and in case of renewal, the renewal application should be submitted 30 days prior to the expiry date of such license.

In addition, Online Game Business Operators should request the valid identity certificate of game users for registration, and notify the public 60 days ahead of the termination of any online game operations or the transfer of online game operational rights. Online game business operators are also prohibited from (i) setting compulsory matters in the online games without game users’ consent; (ii) advertising or promoting the online games that contain prohibited content, such as anything that compromise state security or divulges state secrets; and (iii) inducing game users to input legal currencies or virtual currencies to gain online game products or services, by way of random draw or other incidental means. The Online Game Measures also states that the state cultural administration authorities will formulate the compulsory clauses of a standard online game service agreement, which have been promulgated on July 29, 2010 and are required to be incorporated into the service agreement entered into between online game business operators and game users, with no conflicts with the rest of clauses in such service agreements.

On July 11, 2008, the General Office of the State Council promulgated the Regulation on Main Functions, Internal Organization and Staffing of the General Administration of Press and Publication, or the Regulation on Three Provisions. On September 14, 2009, the Central Organization Establishment Commission issued the corresponding interpretations, or the Interpretations on Three Provisions. The Regulation on Three Provisions and the Interpretation on Three Provisions granted the Ministry of Culture overall jurisdiction to regulate the online game industry, and granted the General Administration of Press and Publication the authority to issue approvals for the internet publication of online games. Specifically, (i) the Ministry of Culture is empowered to administrate online games (other than the pre-examination and approval before internet publication of online games); (ii) subject to the Ministry of Culture’s overall administration, General Administration of Press and Publication is responsible for the pre-examination and approval of the internet publication of online games; and (iii) once an online game is launched, the online game will be only administrated and regulated by the Ministry of Culture. As of the date of this prospectus, three of the 11 online games we offer have completed the filing with the Ministry of Culture. If we fail to complete, obtain or maintain any of the required licenses or approvals or make the necessary filings, we may be subject to various penalties, such as confiscation of the net revenues that were generated through online games, the imposition of fines and the discontinuation or restriction of our operations of online games.

On September 28, 2009, the General Administration of Press and Publication, the National Copyright Administration and the National Working Group to Eliminate Pornography and Illegal Publications jointly issued the Circular on Consistent Implementation of the Stipulation on the Three Provisions of the State Council and the Relevant Interpretations of the State Commission for Public Sector Reform and the Further Strengthening of the Pre-examination and approval of Online Games and the Approval and Examination of Imported Online Games, or the GAPP Notice. The GAPP Notice explicitly prohibits foreign investors from directly or indirectly engaging in online game business in China, including through consolidated affiliated entities. Foreign investors are not allowed to indirectly control or participate in PRC operating companies’ online game operations, whether (i) by establishing other joint ventures, entering into contractual arrangements or providing technical support for such operating companies; or (ii) in a disguised form such as by incorporating or directing user registration, user account management or game card consumption into online game platforms that are ultimately controlled or

 

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owned by foreign companies. The GAPP Notice reiterates that the General Administration of Press and Publication is responsible for the examination and approval of the import and publication of online games and states that downloading from the internet is considered a publication activity, which is subject to approval from the General Administration of Press and Publication. Violations of the GAPP Notice will result in severe penalties. For detailed analysis, see “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure—If the PRC government finds that the agreements that establish the structure for operating our businesses in China do not comply with PRC regulations on foreign investment in internet and other related businesses, or if these regulations or their interpretation change in the future, we could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish our interests in those operations.”

Regulations Relating to Internet Content and Information Security

The Administrative Measures on Internet Information Services specify that internet information services regarding news, publications, education, medical and health care, pharmacy and medical appliances, among other things, are to be examined, approved and regulated by the relevant authorities. Internet information providers are prohibited from providing services beyond those included in the scope of their ICP licenses or filings. Furthermore, these measures clearly specify a list of prohibited content. Internet information providers are prohibited from producing, copying, publishing or distributing information that is humiliating or defamatory to others or that infringes the lawful rights and interests of others. Internet information providers that violate the prohibition may face criminal charges or administrative sanctions by the PRC authorities. Internet information providers must monitor and control the information posted on their websites. If any prohibited content is found, they must remove the offensive content immediately, keep a record of it and report it to the relevant authorities. Beijing Momo, as an ICP license holder, is subject to these measures.

Internet information in China is also regulated and restricted from a national security standpoint. The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress has enacted the Decisions on Maintaining Internet Security, which may subject violators to criminal punishment in China for any effort to: (i) gain improper entry into a computer or system of strategic importance; (ii) disseminate politically disruptive information; (iii) leak state secrets; (iv) spread false commercial information; or (v) infringe intellectual property rights. The Ministry of Public Security has promulgated measures that prohibit use of the internet in ways which, among other things, result in a leakage of state secrets or a spread of socially destabilizing content. As an ICP license holder, Beijing Momo is subject to the laws and regulations relating to information security.

In August 2013, the MOC issued the Administration Measures on Content Review by Internet Culture Operating Entities, or the Content Review Measures, which became effective on December 1, 2013. According to the Content Review Measures, an internet culture operating entity shall censor and review its products and services to be provided to the public to ensure that such products and services do not contain any content prohibited by law, and the censor record shall be kept for at least two years. Internet culture operating entities shall adopt technical measures to conduct real-time censor over the products and services, set up internal content control department and establish content control policies. If the internet culture operating entity identifies any illegal content, it shall immediately suspend the products or services containing such content and preserve relevant record, and, in the event that such illegal content might lead to material issues, report to provincial branch of MOC.

Regulations on Anti-fatigue Compliance System and Real-name Registration System

On April 15, 2007, eight PRC government authorities, including the General Administration of Press and Publication, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, jointly issued the Notice on Protecting Minors Mental and Physical Health and Implementation of Online Game Anti-fatigue System, which requires the implementation of an anti-fatigue compliance system and a real-name registration system by all PRC online game operators. Under the anti-fatigue compliance system, three hours or less of continuous playing by minors, defined as game players under 18 years of age, is considered to be “healthy”, three to five hours is deemed “fatiguing”, and five hours or more is deemed

 

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“unhealthy.” Game operators are required to reduce the value of in-game benefits to a game player by half if it discovers that the amount of a time a game player spends online has reached the “fatiguing” level, and to zero in the case of the “unhealthy” level.

To identify whether a game player is a minor and thus subject to the anti-fatigue compliance system, a real-name registration system should be adopted to require online game players to register their real identity information before playing online games. Pursuant to a notice issued by the relevant eight government authorities on August 3, 2011, online game operators must submit the identity information of game players to the National Citizen Identity Information Center, a subordinate public institution of the Ministry of Public Security, for verification as of October 1, 2011.

Regulations Relating to Internet Information Services and Content of Internet Information

In September 2000, the State Council issued the Administrative Measures on Internet Information Services, or the Internet Measures, to regulate the provision of information services to online users through the internet. According to the Internet Measures, internet information services are divided into two categories: services of an operative nature and services of a non-operative nature. Our business conducted through our immomo.com website involves operating internet information services, which requires us to obtain an ICP license. If an internet information service provider fails to obtain an ICP license, the relevant local branch of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology may levy fines, confiscate its income or even block its website. When the ICP service involves areas of news, publication, education, medical treatment, health, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, and if required by law or relevant regulations, specific approval from the respective regulatory authorities must be obtained prior to applying for the ICP license from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology or its provincial level counterpart. Our affiliated PRC entity, Beijing Momo, currently holds an ICP license issued by Beijing Communications Administration, a local branch of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Our ICP license will expire in February 2017 and we will renew such license prior to its expiration date.

Regulations Relating to Privacy Protection

As an internet content provider, we are subject to regulations relating to protection of privacy. In recent years, PRC government authorities have enacted laws and regulations on internet use to protect personal information from any unauthorized disclosure. The Administrative Measures on Internet Information Services prohibit ICP service operators from insulting or slandering a third party or infringing upon the lawful rights and interests of a third party. Under the Several Provisions on Regulating the Market Order of Internet Information Services, issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in 2011, an ICP service operator may not collect any user personal information or provide such information to third parties without the consent of a user. An ICP service operator must expressly inform the users of the method, content and purpose for the collection and processing of such user personal information and may only collect such information necessary for the provision of its services. An ICP service operator is also required to properly keep the user personal information, and in case of any leak or likely leak of the user personal information, the ICP service operator must take immediate remedial measures and, in severe circumstances, to make an immediate report to the telecommunications regulatory authority. In addition, pursuant to the Decision on Strengthening the Protection of Online Information issued by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in December 2012 and the Order for the Protection of Telecommunication and Internet User Personal Information issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in July 2013, any collection and use of user personal information must be subject to the consent of the user, abide by the principles of legality, rationality and necessity and be within the specified purposes, methods and scopes. An ICP service operator must also keep such information strictly confidential, and is further prohibited from divulging, tampering or destroying of any such information, or selling or providing such information to other parties. Any violation of the above decision or order may subject the ICP service operator to warnings, fines, confiscation of illegal gains, revocation of licenses, cancellation of filings, closedown of websites or even criminal liabilities. We are subject to these regulations as an online business operator.

 

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Regulations Relating to Taxation

Up until December 31, 2007, our PRC subsidiary and consolidated affiliated entity and its subsidiary were subject to PRC enterprise income tax at the statutory rate of 33% on their PRC taxable income.

In January 2008, the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law took effect. The PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law applies a uniform 25% enterprise income tax rate to both foreign-invested enterprises and domestic enterprises, except where tax incentives are granted to special industries and projects. Under the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law and its implementation regulations, dividends generated from the business of a PRC subsidiary after January 1, 2008 and payable to its foreign investor may be subject to a withholding tax rate of 10% if the PRC tax authorities determine that the foreign investor is a non-resident enterprise, unless there is a tax treaty with China that provides for a preferential withholding tax rate. Distributions of earnings generated before January 1, 2008 are exempt from PRC withholding tax.

Under the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law, an enterprise established outside China with “de facto management bodies” within China is considered a “resident enterprise” for PRC enterprise income tax purposes and is generally subject to a uniform 25% enterprise income tax rate on its worldwide income. A circular issued by the State Administration of Taxation in April 2009 regarding the standards used to classify certain Chinese-invested enterprises controlled by Chinese enterprises or Chinese enterprise groups and established outside of China as “resident enterprises” clarified that dividends and other income paid by such PRC “resident enterprises” will be considered PRC-source income and subject to PRC withholding tax, currently at a rate of 10%, when paid to non-PRC enterprise shareholders. This circular also subjects such PRC “resident enterprises” to various reporting requirements with the PRC tax authorities. Under the implementation regulations to the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law, a “de facto management body” is defined as a body that has material and overall management and control over the manufacturing and business operations, personnel and human resources, finances and properties of an enterprise. In addition, the tax circular mentioned above specifies that certain PRC-invested overseas enterprises controlled by a Chinese enterprise or a Chinese enterprise group in the PRC will be classified as PRC resident enterprises if the following are located or resided in the PRC: senior management personnel and departments that are responsible for daily production, operation and management; financial and personnel decision making bodies; key properties, accounting books, the company seal, and minutes of board meetings and shareholders’ meetings; and half or more of the senior management or directors who have the voting rights.

Pursuant to the Arrangement between Mainland China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Tax Evasion on Income, the withholding tax rate in respect to the payment of dividends by a PRC enterprise to a Hong Kong enterprise is reduced to 5% from a standard rate of 10% if the Hong Kong enterprise directly holds at least 25% of the PRC enterprise. Pursuant to the Notice of the State Administration of Taxation on the Issues concerning the Application of the Dividend Clauses of Tax Agreements, or Circular 81, a Hong Kong resident enterprise must meet the following conditions, among others, in order to enjoy the reduced withholding tax: (i) it must be a company; (ii) it must directly own the required percentage of equity interests and voting rights in the PRC resident enterprise; and (iii) it must have directly owned such required percentage in the PRC resident enterprise throughout the 12 months prior to receiving the dividends. Furthermore, the Administrative Measures for Non-Resident Enterprises to Enjoy Treatments under Tax Treaties (For Trial Implementation), which became effective in October 2009, require that non-resident enterprises must obtain approval from the relevant tax authority in order to enjoy the reduced withholding tax rate. There are also other conditions for enjoying the reduced withholding tax rate according to other relevant tax rules and regulations. Accordingly, Momo Technology HK Company Limited may be able to benefit from the 5% withholding tax rate for the dividends it receives from Beijing Momo, if it satisfies the conditions prescribed under Circular 81 and other relevant tax rules and regulations, and obtain the approvals as required. However, according to Circular 81, if the relevant tax authorities consider the transactions or arrangements we have are for the primary purpose of enjoying a favorable tax treatment, the relevant tax authorities may adjust the favorable withholding tax in the future.

 

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In accordance with the Notice on Strengthening Administration of Enterprise Income Tax for Share Transfers by Non-PRC Resident Enterprises, or Circular 698, if a non-resident enterprise transfers the equity interests of a PRC resident enterprise indirectly by disposition of the equity interests of an overseas holding company (other than a purchase and sale of shares issued by a PRC resident enterprise in public securities market), or Indirect Transfer, and such overseas holding company is located in a tax jurisdiction that: (i) has an effective tax rate of less than 12.5%, or (ii) does not tax foreign income of its residents, the non-resident enterprise, being the transferor, shall report to the PRC competent tax authority of the PRC resident enterprise this Indirect Transfer within 30 days from the date when the equity transfer agreement was made. Using a “substance over form” principle, the PRC tax authority may disregard the existence of the overseas holding company if it lacks a reasonable commercial purpose and was established for the purpose of reducing, avoiding, or deferring PRC tax. As a result, gains derived from such Indirect Transfer may be subject to PRC withholding tax at a rate of up to 10%. Circular 698 also provides that, where a non-PRC resident enterprise transfers its equity interests in a PRC resident enterprise to its related parties at a price lower than the fair market value, the relevant tax authority has the power to make a reasonable adjustment to the taxable income of the transaction. Circular 698 is retroactively effective on January 1, 2008. There is uncertainty as to the application of Circular 698. Circular 698 may be determined by the tax authorities to be applicable to our private equity financing transactions where non-resident investors were involved, if any of such transactions were determined by the tax authorities to lack reasonable commercial purpose. As a result, we and our non-resident investors in such transactions may become at risk of being taxed under Circular 698 and we may be required to expend valuable resources to comply with Circular 698 or to establish that we should not be taxed under the general anti-avoidance rule of the EIT Law, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations or such non-resident investors’ investments in us. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Doing Business in China—We face uncertainty with respect to indirect transfer of equity interests in PRC resident enterprises by their non-PRC holding companies.”

PRC Business Tax

Pursuant to applicable PRC tax regulations, any entity or individual conducting business in the service industry is generally required to pay a business tax at the rate of 5% on the revenues generated from providing such services. However, if the services provided are related to technology development and transfer, such business tax may be exempted subject to the approval of relevant tax authorities.

Value Added Tax

On January 1, 2012, the Chinese State Council officially launched a pilot value-added tax (“VAT”) reform program, or Pilot Program, applicable to businesses in selected industries. Businesses in the Pilot Program would pay VAT instead of business tax. The Pilot Industries in Shanghai included industries involving the leasing of tangible movable property, transportation services, research and development and technical services, information technology services, cultural and creative services, logistics and ancillary services, certification and consulting services. Revenues generated by advertising services, a type of “cultural and creative services,” are subject to the VAT tax rate of 6%. According to official announcements made by competent authorities in Beijing and Guangdong province, Beijing launched the same Pilot Program on September 1, 2012, and Guangdong province launched it on November 1, 2012. On May 24, 2013, the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation issued the Circular on Tax Policies in the Nationwide Pilot Collection of Value Added Tax in Lieu of Business Tax in the Transportation Industry and Certain Modern Services Industries, or the Pilot Collection Circular. The scope of certain modern services industries under the Pilot Collection Circular extends to the inclusion of radio and television services. On August 1, 2013, the Pilot Program was implemented throughout China. We currently pay the pilot VAT instead of business taxes for our advertising activities, and for any other parts of our business that are deemed by the local tax authorities to belong to the applicable industries.

 

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Regulations Relating to Copyright and Trademark Protection

China has adopted legislation governing intellectual property rights, including copyrights and trademarks. China is a signatory to major international conventions on intellectual property rights and is subject to the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights as a result of its accession to the World Trade Organization in December 2001.

Copyright. The National People’s Congress amended the Copyright Law in 2001 and 2010 to widen the scope of works and rights that are eligible for copyright protection. The amended Copyright Law extends copyright protection to Internet activities, products disseminated over the Internet and software products. In addition, there is a voluntary registration system administered by the China Copyright Protection Center. To address copyright infringement related to content posted or transmitted over the Internet, the National Copyright Administration and former Ministry of Information Industry jointly promulgated the Administrative Measures for Copyright Protection Related to the Internet in April 2005. These measures became effective in May 2005. To comply with these laws and regulations, we have implemented internal procedures to monitor and review the content we have been licensed from content providers before they are released on our website and remove any infringing content promptly after we receive notice of infringement from the legitimate rights holder.

On December 20, 2001, the State Council promulgated the new Regulations on Computer Software Protection, effective from January 1, 2002, which are intended to protect the rights and interests of the computer software copyright holders and encourage the development of software industry and information economy. In the PRC, software developed by PRC citizens, legal persons or other organizations is automatically protected immediately after its development, without an application or approval. Software copyright may be registered with the designated agency and if registered, the certificate of registration issued by the software registration agency will be the primary evidence of the ownership of the copyright and other registered matters. On February 20, 2002, the National Copyright Administration of the PRC introduced the Measures on Computer Software Copyright Registration, which outline the operational procedures for registration of software copyright, as well as registration of software copyright license and transfer contracts. The Copyright Protection Center of China is mandated as the software registration agency under the regulations.

The State Council and the National Copyright Administration have promulgated various rules and regulations and rules relating to protection of software in China, including the Regulations on Protection of Computer Software promulgated by State Council on January 30, 2013 and effective since March 1, 2013, and the Measures for Registration of Copyright of Computer Software promulgated by SARFT on February 20, 2002 and effective since the same date. According to these rules and regulations, software owners, licensees and transferees may register their rights in software with the National Copyright Administration or its local branches and obtain software copyright registration certificates. Although such registration is not mandatory under PRC law, software owners, licensees and transferees are encouraged to go through the registration process and registered software rights may be entitled to better protections. As of September 30, 2014, we had registered copyrights on 18 software programs in China.

Trademark. The PRC Trademark Law, adopted in 1982 and revised in 1993, 2001 and 2013 respectively, protects the proprietary rights to registered trademarks. The Trademark Office under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce handles trademark registrations and may grant a term of ten years for registered trademarks, which may be extended for another ten years upon request. Trademark license agreements shall be filed with the Trademark Office for record. In addition, if a registered trademark is recognized as a well-known trademark, the protection of the proprietary right of the trademark holder may reach beyond the specific class of the relevant products or services. As of September 30, 2014, we had 11 registered trademarks and had 48 trademark applications in China.

Regulations Relating to Foreign Exchange

Pursuant to the Regulations on the Administration of Foreign Exchange issued by the State Council and effective in 1996, as amended in January 1997 and August 2008, respectively, current account transactions, such

 

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as the sale or purchase of goods, are not subject to PRC governmental approvals. Certain organizations in the PRC, including foreign-invested enterprises, may purchase, sell and/or remit foreign currencies at certain banks authorized to conduct foreign exchange business upon providing valid commercial documents. However, approval of the PRC State Administration of Foreign Exchange, or SAFE, is required for capital account transactions.

In August 2008, SAFE issued a circular on the conversion of foreign currency into Renminbi by a foreign-invested company that regulates how the converted Renminbi may be used. The circular requires that the registered capital of a foreign-invested enterprise converted into Renminbi from foreign currencies may only be utilized for purposes within its business scope. For example, such converted amounts may not be used for investments in or acquisitions of other companies, which can inhibit the ability of companies to consummate such transactions. In addition, SAFE strengthened its oversight of the flow and use of the Renminbi registered capital of foreign-invested enterprises converted from foreign currencies. The use of such Renminbi capital may not be changed without SAFE’s approval, and may not in any case be used to repay Renminbi loans if the proceeds of such loans have not been utilized. Furthermore, SAFE promulgated a circular in November 2010, which, among other things, requires the authenticity of settlement of net proceeds from offshore offerings to be closely examined and the net proceeds to be settled in the manner described in the offering documents. Violations may result in severe penalties, such as heavy fines.

In November 2012, SAFE promulgated the Circular of Further Improving and Adjusting Foreign Exchange Administration Policies on Foreign Direct Investment which substantially amends and simplifies the current foreign exchange procedure. Pursuant to this circular, the opening of various special purpose foreign exchange accounts (e.g. pre-establishment expenses account, foreign exchange capital account, guarantee account), the reinvestment of RMB proceeds by foreign investors in the PRC, and remittance of foreign exchange profits and dividends by a foreign-invested enterprise to its foreign shareholders no longer require the approval or verification of SAFE, and multiple capital accounts for the same entity may be opened in different provinces, which was not possible before. In addition, SAFE promulgated the Circular on Printing and Distributing the Provisions on Foreign Exchange Administration over Domestic Direct Investment by Foreign Investors and the Supporting Documents in May 2013, which specifies that the administration by SAFE or its local branches over direct investment by foreign investors in the PRC shall be conducted by way of registration and banks shall process foreign exchange business relating to the direct investment in the PRC based on the registration information provided by SAFE and its branches.

Regulations Relating to Labor

Pursuant to the PRC Labor Law effective in 1995 and the PRC Labor Contract Law effective in 2008, a written labor contract is required when an employment relationship is established between an employer and an employee. Other labor-related regulations and rules of the PRC stipulate the maximum number of working hours per day and per week as well as the minimum wages. An employer is required to set up occupational safety and sanitation systems, implement the national occupational safety and sanitation rules and standards, educate employees on occupational safety and sanitation, prevent accidents at work and reduce occupational hazards.

In the PRC, workers dispatched by an employment agency are normally engaged in temporary, auxiliary or substitute work. Pursuant to the PRC Labor Contract Law, an employment agency is the employer for workers dispatched by it and shall perform an employer’s obligations toward them. The employment contract between the employment agency and the dispatched workers, and the placement agreement between the employment agency and the company that receives the dispatched workers shall be in writing. Furthermore, the company that accepts the dispatched workers shall be jointly and severally liable for any damage caused to the dispatched workers due to violation of the Labor Contract Law by the employment agencies arising from their contracts with dispatched workers. An employer is obligated to sign an indefinite term labor contract with an employee if the employer continues to employ the employee after two consecutive fixed-term labor contracts. The employer also has to pay compensation to the employee if the employer terminates an indefinite term labor contract. Except where the

 

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employer proposes to renew a labor contract by maintaining or raising the conditions of the labor contract and the employee is not agreeable to the renewal, an employer is required to compensate the employee when a definite term labor contract expires. Furthermore, under the Regulations on Paid Annual Leave for Employees issued by the State Council in December 2007 and effective as of January 2008, an employee who has served an employer for more than one year and less than ten years is entitled to a 5-day paid vacation, those whose service period ranges from 10 to 20 years is entitled to a 10-day paid vacation, and those who has served for more than 20 years is entitled to a 15-day paid vacation. An employee who does not use such vacation time at the request of the employer shall be compensated at three times their normal salaries for each waived vacation day.

Pursuant to the Regulations on Occupational Injury Insurance effective in 2004, as amended in 2010, and the Interim Measures concerning the Maternity Insurance for Enterprise Employees effective in 1995, PRC companies must pay occupational injury insurance premiums and maternity insurance premiums for their employees. Pursuant to the Interim Regulations on the Collection and Payment of Social Insurance Premiums effective in 1999 and the Interim Measures concerning the Administration of the Registration of Social Insurance effective in 1999, basic pension insurance, medical insurance and unemployment insurance are collectively referred to as social insurance. Both PRC companies and their employees are required to contribute to the social insurance plans. Pursuant to the Regulations on the Administration of Housing Fund effective in 1999, as amended in 2002, PRC companies must register with applicable housing fund management centers and establish a special housing fund account in an entrusted bank. Both PRC companies and their employees are required to contribute to the housing funds.

According to the Social Insurance Law, an employer that fails to make social insurance contributions may be ordered to pay the required contributions within a stipulated deadline and be subject to a late fee. If the employer still fails to rectify the failure to make social insurance contributions within the stipulated deadline, it may be subject to a fine ranging from one to three times the amount overdue. According to the Regulations on Administration of Housing Fund, an enterprise that fails to make housing fund contributions may be ordered to rectify the noncompliance and pay the required contributions within a stipulated deadline; otherwise, an application may be made to a local court for compulsory enforcement.

Regulations Relating to Dividend Distribution

Wholly foreign-owned companies in the PRC may pay dividends only out of their accumulated profits after tax as determined in accordance with PRC accounting standards. Remittance of dividends by a wholly foreign-owned enterprise out of China is subject to examination by the banks designated by SAFE. Wholly foreign-owned companies may not pay dividends unless they set aside at least 10% of their respective accumulated profits after tax each year, if any, to fund certain reserve funds, until such time as the accumulative amount of such fund reaches 50% of the wholly foreign-owned company’s registered capital. These reserve funds are not distributable as cash dividends.

SAFE Regulations on Offshore Special Purpose Companies Held by PRC Residents or Citizens

SAFE Circular on Relevant Issues Relating to Domestic Resident’s Investment and Financing and Roundtrip Investment through Special Purpose Vehicles, or Circular 37, issued by SAFE and effective in July 2014, regulates foreign exchange matters in relation to the use of special purpose vehicles, or SPVs, by PRC residents or entities to seek offshore investment and financing and conduct round trip investment in China. Under Circular 37, a SPV refers to an offshore entity established or controlled, directly or indirectly, by PRC residents or entities for the purpose of seeking offshore financing or making offshore investment, using legitimate domestic or offshore assets or interests, while “round trip investment” refers to the direct investment in China by PRC residents or entities through SPVs, namely, establishing foreign-invested enterprises to obtain the ownership, control rights and management rights. Circular 37 requires that, before making contribution into an SPV, PRC residents or entities are required to complete foreign exchange registration with the SAFE or its local branch. SAFE Circular 37 further provides that option or share-based incentive tool holders of a non-listed SPV

 

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can exercise the options or share incentive tools to become a shareholder of such non-listed SPV, subject to registration with SAFE or its local branch.

PRC residents or entities who have contributed legitimate domestic or offshore interests or assets to SPVs but have yet to obtain SAFE registration before the implementation of the Circular 37 shall register their ownership interests or control in such SPVs with SAFE or its local branch. An amendment to the registration is required if there is a material change in the SPV registered, such as any change of basic information (including change of such PRC residents, name and operation term), increases or decreases in investment amount, transfers or exchanges of shares, or mergers or divisions. Failure to comply with the registration procedures set forth in Circular 37, or making misrepresentation on or failure to disclose controllers of foreign-invested enterprise that is established through round-trip investment, may result in restrictions on the foreign exchange activities of the relevant foreign-invested enterprises, including payment of dividends and other distributions, such as proceeds from any reduction in capital, share transfer or liquidation, to its offshore parent or affiliate, and the capital inflow from the offshore parent, and may also subject relevant PRC residents or entities to penalties under PRC foreign exchange administration regulations.

We have completed the foreign exchange registration of PRC resident shareholders of Mr. Yan Tang, Mr. Yong Li, Mr. Xiaoliang Lei and Mr. Zhiwei Li for our financings and share transfer.

M&A Rule and Overseas Listing

In August 2006, six PRC regulatory agencies, including China Securities Regulatory Commission, or CSRC, jointly adopted the Provisions Regarding Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, or the M&A Rule, which became effective in September 2006. This M&A Rule purports to require, among other things, offshore SPVs, formed for listing purposes through acquisition of PRC domestic companies and controlled by PRC companies or individuals, to obtain the approval of the CSRC prior to publicly listing their securities on an overseas stock exchange. We believe that CSRC approval is not required in the context of this offering as we are not a special purpose vehicle formed for listing purpose through acquisition of domestic companies that are controlled by our PRC individual shareholders, as we acquired contractual control rather than equity interests in our domestic affiliated entities.

However, we cannot assure you that the relevant PRC government agency, including the CSRC, would reach the same conclusion as we do. If the CSRC or other PRC regulatory agency subsequently determines that we need to obtain the CSRC’s approval for this offering or if CSRC or any other PRC government authorities will promulgate any interpretation or implementing rules before our listing that would require CSRC or other governmental approvals for this offe