Smart parking systems provider Yi Po International Holdings may serve as the canary in the coal mine to determine whether Chinese companies can confidently resume efforts to go public in the United States, according to analysts, following ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing ’s initial public offering (IPO) debacle in New York last year. Four-year-old Yi Po, based in Nanjing , capital of the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu, last month updated its filing for an IPO on the Nasdaq stock market in New York, where it plans to raise US$27 million and become the first Chinese technology company in more than six months to list in the US. The company, which was set up under a variable interest entity (VIE) structure, would also be the first Chinese tech firm to go public overseas since Beijing regulators gave tacit approval for VIEs to list in offshore markets. VIEs typically allow overseas investors to share profits generated from businesses in China based on special arrangements, bypassing laws that otherwise ban investment by foreigners. It is possible for Yi Po, which was incorporated in the Cayman Islands, to get the green light for its US listing from the relevant authorities as long it satisfies existing regulatory requirements, according to John Dong, a securities lawyer at Joint-Win Partners in Shanghai. Even if Yi Po’s IPO on the Nasdaq goes ahead, Dong indicated that it does not mean there will be a full resumption of China tech IPOs in the US. “There are still many uncertainties,” he said. These include “the attitude of regulators, companies’ control on the cost of compliance and the capital market’s valuation of companies, [which means] things may not be in a very clear direction for quite a long time”. Yi Po did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. The stakes are high for Yi Po in light of Beijing’s intensified review of overseas fundraising activity by companies in certain industries that are off-limits to foreign investment. China’s process for approving IPOs in foreign capital markets requires an additional layer of oversight , with the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) formally inserted into the procedure. Beijing revamped its rules for overseas listings after Didi went ahead with its US$4.4 billion IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in June last year, despite warnings from regulators . That triggered a data security investigation led by the CAC, which culminated in Didi’s move to delist in the US in favour of Hong Kong. China ‘negative list’ tightens grip on overseas IPOs by strategically sensitive firms The size of Yi Po’s IPO, however, might be “too small to raise Beijing’s concerns regarding data security”, said Doug Young, a commentator with Beijing-based consultancy and information provider Bamboo Works. The underwriter for that offering is also a second-tier investment bank, Boustead Securities, according to an online commentary published by Young last week. “A return of the big investment banks will mark one of the next big milestones for these US listings by Chinese firms,” he said. Founded in 2017, Yi Po posted total revenue of US$2.8 million for the six months ended June 30 last year, according to its US filing. That was generated from operating intelligent parking systems installed inside 42 lots located in 18 cities in the world’s largest car market. Yi Po’s single largest shareholder is a Chinese individual named Jin Weiming, who first told local media about the company’s US IPO plans in April 2020. Still, Yi Po warned in its recent US filing that Beijing’s enhanced scrutiny of overseas listings, including any additional requirement for approvals, could impede its listing at any time.