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Table of Contents

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

FORM 20-F

(Mark One)

REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR 12(g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

OR

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021.

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

OR

SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Date of event requiring this shell company report

For the transition period from to

Commission file number: 001-39117

36Kr Holdings Inc.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

N/A

(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)

Cayman Islands

(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

5-6/F, Tower A1, Junhao Central Park Plaza

No. 10 South Chaoyang Park Avenue

Chaoyang District, Beijing, People’s Republic of China, 100026

(Address of principal executive offices)

Ms. Lin Wei, Chief Financial Officer

Tel: +86 10 5825-4188

E-mail: weilin@36kr.com

5-6/F, Tower A1, Junhao Central Park Plaza

No. 10 South Chaoyang Park Avenue

Chaoyang District, Beijing, People’s Republic of China, 100026

(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

    

Trading Symbol

    

Name of each exchange on which registered

American depositary shares, each ADS represents 25 Class A ordinary shares, par value US$0.0001 per share

KRKR

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (The Nasdaq Global Market)

Class A ordinary shares, par value US$0.0001 per share*

N/A

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (The Nasdaq Global Market)

* Not for trading, but only in connection with the listing of the American depositary shares on the Nasdaq Global Market.

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

(Title of Class)

Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act:

None

(Title of Class)

Table of Contents

Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.

989,789,295 ordinary shares, comprised of 893,706,595 Class A ordinary shares, par value US$0.0001 per share, and 96,082,700 Class B ordinary shares, par value US$0.0001 per share, as of December 31, 2021.

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

Yes                      No

If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Yes                      No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

Yes                     No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).

Yes                     No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large accelerated filer ☐

Accelerated filer ☐

Non-accelerated filer 

 

 

Emerging growth company 

If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards † provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

† The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report or attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:

U.S. GAAP

International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board ☐

Other ☐

If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.

Item 17                         Item 18

If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

Yes                   No

(APPLICABLE ONLY TO ISSUERS INVOLVED IN BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS DURING THE PAST FIVE YEARS)

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed all documents and reports required to be filed by Sections 12, 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 subsequent to the distribution of securities under a plan confirmed by a court.

Yes ☐                   No ☐

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

INTRODUCTION

ii

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

iv

PART I

ITEM 1.

IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS

1

ITEM 2.

OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE

1

ITEM 3.

KEY INFORMATION

1

ITEM 4.

INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

44

ITEM 4A.

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

77

ITEM 5.

OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS

77

ITEM 6.

DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES

90

ITEM 7.

MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

98

ITEM 8.

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

99

ITEM 9.

THE OFFER AND LISTING

100

ITEM 10.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

100

ITEM 11.

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

110

ITEM 12.

DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES OTHER THAN EQUITY SECURITIES

111

PART II

ITEM 13.

ITEM DEFAULTS, DIVIDEND ARREARAGES AND DELINQUENCIES

113

ITEM 14.

MATERIAL MODIFICATIONS TO THE RIGHTS OF SECURITY HOLDERS AND USE OF PROCEEDS

113

ITEM 15.

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

113

ITEM 16.A.

Audit Committee Financial Expert

114

ITEM 16.B.

Code of Ethics

114

ITEM 16.C.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

115

ITEM 16.D.

Exemptions from the Listing Standards for Audit Committees

115

ITEM 16.E.

Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers

115

ITEM 16.F.

Change in Registrant’s Certifying Accountant

116

ITEM 16.G.

Corporate Governance

116

ITEM 16.H.

Mine Safety Disclosure

116

ITEM 16.I.

Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections

116

PART III

ITEM 17.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

117

ITEM 18.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

117

ITEM 19.

EXHIBITS

118

i

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INTRODUCTION

Except where the context otherwise indicates and for the purpose of this annual report only:

“ADRs” refers to the American depositary receipts that evidence our ADSs;
“ADSs” refers to the American depositary shares, each representing 25 of our Class A ordinary shares;
“average monthly PV” during a period is calculated as the total PV during that period across our self-operated platforms and our accounts on major third-party platforms, including Weibo, Weixin/WeChat, Toutiao, Zhihu, Baidu and Xinhuanet, divided by the number of months in that period;
“Beijing Duoke”, “variable interest entity” or “VIE” refers to Beijing Duoke Information Technology Co. Ltd., a company incorporated in the PRC in December 2016;
“CAGR” refers to compound annual growth rate;
“China” or “PRC” refer to the People’s Republic of China, excluding, for the purpose of this annual report only, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau;
“Class A ordinary shares” refers to our Class A ordinary shares of par value US$0.0001 per share;
“Class B ordinary shares” refers to our Class B ordinary shares of par value US$0.0001 per share;
“JingData” refers to Jiangsu JingZhun Digital Information Industry Development Co. Ltd; that used to named Beijing Venture Glory Information Technology Co., Ltd;
“KOL” refers to key opinion leader;
“New Economy” refers to businesses that realize rapid growth primarily through cutting-edge technology and innovative business models;
“New Economy companies” refers to companies driven by cutting-edge technology and innovative business models;
“New Economy participants” refers to New Economy companies, traditional companies being transformed by cutting-edge technology and innovative business models, institutional investors and individuals involved in New Economy;
“ordinary shares” as of the date hereof refers to our Class A ordinary shares of par value US$0.0001 per share and Class B ordinary shares of par value US$0.0001 per share;
“PV” refers to page view;
“RMB” or “Renminbi” refers to the legal currency of the People’s Republic of China;
“US$,” “dollars” or “U.S. dollars” refers to the legal currency of the United States; and
“36Kr”, “we,” “us,” “our company,” and “our,” refer, to 36Kr Holdings Inc., a Cayman Islands company, its subsidiaries and, in the context of describing our consolidated financial statements, business operations and operating data, its VIE (or, where the context requires, its predecessors).

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Our reporting currency is Renminbi because substantially all of our operations are conducted in China and substantially all of our revenues are denominated in Renminbi. This annual report contains translations of Renminbi amounts into U.S. dollars at specific rates solely for the convenience of the reader. Unless otherwise noted, all translations from Renminbi to U.S. dollars and from U.S. dollars to Renminbi in this annual report were made at a rate of RMB6.3726 to US$1.00, the exchange rate set forth in the H.10 statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board on December 30, 2021. We make no representation that the Renminbi or U.S. dollar amounts referred to in this annual report 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. The PRC government imposes control over its foreign currency reserves in part through direct regulation of the conversion of Renminbi into foreign exchange and through restrictions on foreign trade. On April 15, 2022, the noon buying rate for Renminbi was RMB 6.3705 to US$1.00.

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FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

This annual report contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of historical facts are forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that 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 these forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “aim,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “likely to” or other similar expressions. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about:

our goals and growth strategies;
our future business development, results of operations and financial condition;
relevant government policies and regulations relating to our business and industry;
status of COVID-19 pandemic;
general economic and business condition in China; and
assumptions underlying or related to any of the foregoing.

You should read these statements in conjunction with the risk factors disclosed in “Item 3. Key Information—3.D. Risk Factors.”, and read thoroughly this annual report and the documents that we refer to in this annual report with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from and worse than what we expect. Other sections of this annual report include additional factors which could adversely impact our business and financial performance. Moreover, we operate in an evolving environment. New risk factors and uncertainties emerge from time to time and it is not possible for our management to predict all risk factors and uncertainties, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. We qualify all of our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements. We do not undertake any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements except as required under applicable law. You should read this annual report and the documents that we reference in this annual report completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from what we expect.

You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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PART I

ITEM 1.    IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS

Not applicable.

ITEM 2.    OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE

Not applicable.

ITEM 3.    KEY INFORMATION

3.A.[Reserved]

3.B.Capitalization and Indebtedness

Not applicable.

3.C.Reason for the Offer and Use of Proceeds

Not applicable.

3.D.Risk Factors

36Kr Holdings Inc. is a Cayman Islands holding company. It conducts its operations in China through its PRC subsidiaries and the consolidated variable interest entity, or the VIE. However, we and our direct and indirect subsidiaries do not have and it is virtually impossible for them to have, any equity interests in the VIE in practice as current PRC laws and regulations restrict foreign investment in companies that engage in value-added telecommunication services. As a result, we depend on certain contractual arrangements with the VIE to operate a significant portion of our business. This structure allows us to exercise effective control over the VIE and be considered the primary beneficiary of the VIE, which serves the purpose of consolidating the VIE’s operating results in our financial statements under the U.S. GAAP. This structure also provides contractual exposure to foreign investment in such companies. The VIE is owned by certain nominee shareholders, not by us. All of these nominee shareholders are also affiliated with our Company or affiliated with certain shareholders of the Company. Investors in our ADSs are purchasing equity securities of a Cayman Islands holding company rather than equity securities issued by our subsidiaries and the VIE. Investors who are non-PRC residents may not directly hold equity interests in the VIE under current PRC laws and regulations. As used in this annual report, “we,” “us,” “our company,” “our,” or “36Kr” refers to 36Kr Holdings Inc. and its subsidiaries, and, in the context of describing our consolidated financial information, business operations and operating data, our consolidated VIE, “Tianjin Duoke” refers to Tianjin Duoke Investment Co., Ltd., “Beijing Dake” refers to Beijing Dake Information Technology Co., Ltd., and “Beijing Duoke” refers to Beijing Duoke Information Technology Co. Ltd. We refer to Tianjin Duoke and Beijing Dake as the PRC subsidiaries in the context of describing of their activities. We refer to Beijing Duoke as the VIE in the context of describing its activities and contractual arrangements with us.

Our corporate structure involves unique risks to investors in the ADSs. In 2019, 2020 and 2021, the amount of revenues generated by the VIE accounted for 100%, 100% and 100%, respectively, of our total net revenues. As of December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021, total assets of the VIE, excluding amounts due from other companies in the Group, equaled to 69%, 84% and 83% of our consolidated total assets as of the same dates, respectively. As of the date of this annual report, to the best knowledge of our Company, our directors and management, our VIE agreements have not been tested in a court of law in the PRC. If the PRC government deems that our contractual arrangements with the VIE do not comply with PRC regulatory restrictions on foreign investment in the relevant industries, or if these regulations or the interpretation of existing regulations change in the future, we could be subject to material penalties or be forced to relinquish our interests in those operations or otherwise significantly change our corporate structure. We and our investors face significant uncertainty about potential future actions by the PRC government that could affect the legality and enforceability of the contractual arrangements with the VIE and, consequently, significantly affect our ability to consolidate the financial results of the VIE and the financial performance of our company as a whole. Our ADSs may decline in value or become worthless if we are unable to effectively enforce our contractual control rights over the assets and operations of the VIE that conducts a significant portion of our business in China. See “Item 3. Key Information—3.D. Risk Factor—Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure” for detailed discussion.

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We face various legal and operational risks and uncertainties as a company based in and primarily operating in China. The PRC government has significant authority to exert influence on the ability of a China-based company, like us, to conduct its business, accept foreign investments or be listed on a U.S. stock exchange. For example, we face risks associated with regulatory approvals of offshore offerings, anti-monopoly regulatory actions, cybersecurity and data privacy, as well as the lack of inspection from the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or PCAOB, on our auditors. The PRC government may also intervene with or influence our operations at any time by adopting new laws and regulations as the government deems appropriate to further regulatory, political and societal goals. The PRC government has recently published new policies that significantly affected certain industries such as the education and internet industries, and we cannot rule out the possibility that it will in the future release regulations or policies regarding our industry that could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Any such action, once taken by the PRC government, could cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or in extreme cases, become worthless.

You should carefully consider all of the information in this annual report before making an investment in the ADSs. Below please find a summary of the principal risks and uncertainties we face, organized under relevant headings. In particular, as we are a China-based company incorporated in the Cayman Islands, you should pay special attention to subsections headed “Item 3. Key Information—3.D. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Doing Business in China” and “Item 3. Key Information—3.D. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure.”

Below please find a summary of the principal risks we face, organized under relevant headings.

Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

We have a limited operating history as a stand-alone company, which makes it difficult to evaluate our business. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to maintain the growth rate that we have experienced to date.
We are subject to risks associated with operating in the rapidly evolving New Economy sectors.
The success of our business depends on our ability to maintain and enhance our brand. Negative publicity about us, our services, operations and management, or our affiliates may adversely affect our reputation and business.
If we fail to provide high-quality content in a timely manner, we may not be able to attract or retain users. If our efforts to attract or retain users are not successful, our business and results of operations will be materially and adversely affected.
We cannot guarantee our monetization strategies will be successfully implemented or generate sustainable revenues or profit.
Our business could suffer if we are unable to retain or hire quality in-house writers and editors.
Deterioration or termination of cooperation with third-party professional content providers may have a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations.
Our business, prospects and financial results may be affected by our relationship with third-party platforms.
If the content provided on our platform is deemed to violate any PRC laws or regulations, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.
If we fail to develop effective online advertising services, retain or acquire new online advertising services customers, or manage the credit risk of our customers, our financial condition, results of operations and prospects may be materially and adversely affected.

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Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure

There are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current and future PRC laws, regulations, and rules relating to the agreements that establish the VIE structure for our operations in China, including potential future actions by the PRC government, which could affect the enforceability of our contractual arrangements with the VIE and, consequently, significantly affect the financial condition and results of operations performance of 36Kr. If the PRC government finds such agreements non-compliant with relevant PRC laws, regulations, and rules, or if these laws, regulations, and rules or the interpretation thereof change in the future, we could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish our interests in the VIE.
Any failure by the VIE or its shareholders to perform their obligations under our contractual arrangements with them would have a material adverse effect on our business.
The approval, filing or other requirements of the China Securities Regulatory Commission or other PRC government authorities may be required under PRC law in connection with our issuance of securities overseas, or maintenance of the listing status of our ADSs, and the PRC government’s oversight and discretion over our business operations could result in a material adverse change in our operations and the value of our ADSs.
Substantial uncertainties exist with respect to the interpretation and implementation of the newly enacted Foreign Investment Law of the PRC and how it may impact the viability of our current corporate structure, corporate governance and business operations.
We rely on contractual arrangements with our VIE and its shareholders to operate our business, which may not be as effective as direct ownership in providing operational control and otherwise materially and adversely affect our business.

Risks Related to Doing Business in China

Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system, including uncertainties regarding the enforcement of laws, and sudden or unexpected changes in policies, laws and regulations in China, could adversely affect us.
Changes in China’s economic, political and social conditions as well as government policies could have a material adverse effect on our business and prospect.
Certain judgments obtained against us by our shareholders may not be enforceable in China.
The PCAOB is currently unable to inspect our auditor in relation to their audit work performed for our financial statements. The inability of the PCAOB to conduct inspections over our auditor deprives our investors with the benefits of such inspections.
Our ADSs may be delisted and our ADSs and shares prohibited from trading in the over-the-counter market under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, or the HFCAA, if the PCAOB is unable to inspect or fully investigate auditors located in China. On December 16, 2021, PCAOB issued the HFCAA Determination Report, according to which our auditor is subject to the determinations that the PCAOB is unable to inspect or investigate completely. Under the current law, delisting and prohibition from over-the-counter trading in the U.S. could take place in 2024. If this happens there is no certainty that we will be able to list our ADS or shares on a non-U.S. exchange or that a market for our shares will develop outside of the U.S. The delisting of our ADSs, or the threat of their being delisted, may materially and adversely affect the value of your investment.
The potential enactment of the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act would decrease the number of non-inspection years from three years to two, thus reducing the time period before our ADSs may be prohibited from over-the-counter trading or delisted. If this bill were enacted, our ADS could be delisted from the exchange and prohibited from over-the-counter trading in the U.S. in 2023.

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Risks Related to the ADSs

The trading price of the ADSs is likely to be volatile, which could result in substantial losses to investors.
If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or reports about our business, or if they adversely change their recommendations regarding the ADSs, the market price for the ADSs and trading volume could decline.
The sale or availability for sale of substantial amounts of the ADSs could adversely affect their market price.
Techniques employed by short sellers may drive down the market price of the ADSs.

Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

We have a limited operating history as a stand-alone company, which makes it difficult to evaluate our business. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to maintain the growth rate that we have experienced to date.

We commenced our operations as a stand-alone company when we were incorporated by Beijing Xieli Zhucheng Finance Information Service Co., Ltd., or Xieli Zhucheng, in December 2016. Since then we have achieved rapid growth in terms of user traffic, customer base and revenues. However, our limited operating history as a stand-alone company may not be indicative of our future growth or financial results. There is no assurance that we will be able to maintain our historical growth rates in future periods. Our growth prospects should be considered in light of the risks and uncertainties that fast-growing companies with a limited operating history in our industry may encounter, including, among others, risks and uncertainties regarding our ability to:

enrich New Economy-focused content offerings;
maintain, strengthen and diversify content distribution channels;
retain existing users on, and attract new users to, our platforms;
offer comprehensive business services tailored to enterprises’ needs throughout their lifecycles;
attract, retain and motivate talented in-house content creation teams;
maintain stable relationships with third-party professional content providers;
develop and implement successful monetization strategies;
increase brand awareness through marketing and branding activities;
upgrade existing technology and infrastructure and develop new technologies;
successfully compete with other companies that are currently in, or may in the future enter, our industry; and
adapt to the evolving regulatory environment.

All of these endeavors involve risks and will require significant allocation of management and employee resources and capital expenditures. We cannot assure you that we will be able to effectively manage our growth or implement our business strategies effectively. 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, results of operations and financial condition will be materially and adversely affected.

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We are subject to risks associated with operating in the rapidly evolving New Economy sectors.

As a New Economy-focused content and business services provider dedicated to serving New Economy participants in China, we are subject to risks associated with the rapidly evolving nature of New Economy sectors, including but not limited to technology, consumer, retail, healthcare and enterprise services. Our future business, financial conditions, and results of operations will largely depend on the development of China’s New Economy and the growth of the number of New Economy participants. New Economy in China has experienced periods of rapid expansion, and the market size of New Economy-focused online advertising services, enterprise value-added services, and subscription services is expected to grow rapidly. However, there are significant uncertainties with respect to the growth and sustained profitability of China’s New Economy sectors, including changes in general economic conditions in China, New Economy market trends and regulatory environment. Most of these factors are beyond our control. For example, adverse regulatory developments in New Economy sectors in China, such as new or stricter licensing requirements and restrictive industry policies, could materially affect the result of operations and financial conditions of our customers participating in such industries, which may in turn reduce their demand for our services. As a result, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

The success of our business depends on our ability to maintain and enhance our brand. Negative publicity about us, our services, operations and management, or our affiliates may adversely affect our reputation and business.

We believe that maintaining and enhancing our 36Kr brand is critical to our success, especially user and customer acquisition and retention. Unsuccessful marketing efforts, low-quality content and service offerings and unsatisfying user and customer experience are likely to harm our brand image and value.

In addition, negative publicity about us, our services, operations and our management may adversely affect our reputation and business. We have from time to time received negative publicity, including negative Internet and blog postings about our company, our business, our management, our services or our affiliates. Certain of such negative publicity may come from malicious harassment or unfair competition acts by third parties. Our brand and reputation may be materially and adversely affected, which in turn may cause us to lose market share, users, customers and other third parties we conduct business with. As a result, our results of operations and financial performance may be negatively affected.

If we fail to provide high-quality content in a timely manner, we may not be able to attract or retain users. If our efforts to attract or retain users are not successful, our business and results of operations will be materially and adversely affected.

We have experienced significant user growth over the past several years. Our success depends on our ability to generate sufficient user traffic on our platform through the provision of high-quality New Economy-focused content. To attract and retain users, we need to further enrich our content by producing and sourcing new high-quality content in a cost-effective and timely manner. Furthermore, we need to anticipate and quickly respond to prevailing content formats, changing user preferences, and development in New Economy market trends. If we fail to cater to the needs and preferences of our users or deliver high-quality content in an efficient manner, we may suffer from reduced user traffic. In addition, if our valuable users no longer contribute their opinions or comments or other forms of interactive content to our platform, we may experience a decrease in the number of users or level of user engagement. At the same time, spam or excessive advertisement could impact user experience on our platform, which could damage our reputation and deter visits to our platform. If we are unable to grow our user base or increase user engagement, our platform will become less attractive to potential customers, especially online advertising services customers. As a result, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

We cannot guarantee our monetization strategies will be successfully implemented or generate sustainable revenues or profit.

We currently generate a majority of our revenues from online advertising services and enterprise value-added services. Nevertheless, we have been diversifying and may further diversify our monetization channels by introducing new services, including services with which we have limited or no prior experience. We have been expanding our comprehensive enterprise value-added service offerings to meet various demands of our customers. We cannot assure that any of our newly launched services will successfully achieve wide market acceptance, increase the penetration of our addressable market or generate revenues or profit. If our business initiatives fail to enhance our monetization abilities, we may not be able to maintain or increase our revenues or recover any associated costs, and our business and operating results may suffer as a result.

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Our business could suffer if we are unable to retain or hire quality in-house writers, editors and video producers.

We rely primarily on our in-house writers, editors and video producers to create high-quality original content. We intend to continue to invest resources in our in-house content production writer and editorial team to maintain and improve content creation capabilities. Nevertheless, the demand and competition for talent is intense in our industry, particularly for skilled writers and editors. Therefore, we may need to offer high compensation and additional benefits to maintain a skilled in-house content creation team, which could increase our expenses. If we fail to compete effectively for talents, lose existing writers, editors or video producers, or fail to otherwise maintain an in-house content creation team at reasonable costs, our in-house content creation capabilities would be negatively affected. Any deterioration in our in-house content creation capabilities may materially and adversely affect our business and operating results. If we are unable to offer high-quality original content in a cost-effective manner, our user experience may be adversely affected, and we may suffer from reduced user traffic. Our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected as a result.

Deterioration or termination of cooperation with third-party professional content providers may have a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations.

Third-party professional content constitutes a meaningful part of our content offerings, and we intend to continue to attract and explore new partnership with third-party professional content providers. If we fail to maintain our relationship with them, or they fail to provide content of satisfactory quality upon terms commercially acceptable to us, we may lose a significant portion of high-quality content offerings, and as a result our brand and operations could be materially harmed.

Our business, prospects and financial results may be affected by our relationship with third-party platforms.

We distribute certain of our content through our accounts on leading third-party Internet and social networking platforms, including Weibo, Weixin/WeChat, Toutiao, Zhihu, Baidu and Xinhuanet. These third-party platforms enable us to effectively extend our user reach and enhance our influence. In the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2021, we achieved an average monthly PV of 850.7 million, of which 821.7 million was derived from these third-party platforms. To the extent that we fail to leverage such third-party channels, our ability to attract or retain users may be harmed. If our relationship with these third-party platforms deteriorates or is terminated or we fail to establish or maintain relationships with them on commercially viable terms, we may not be able to quickly locate alternative channels. As a result, the aforementioned circumstances may limit our ability to continue growing our user base and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

If the content provided on our platform is deemed to violate any PRC laws or regulations, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

China has enacted regulations governing Internet access and the distribution of news and other information over the Internet. Under these regulations, Internet content providers are prohibited from posting or displaying over the Internet 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, violent or defamatory. 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 China. In addition, certain news items, such as news relating to national security, may not be published without permission from the PRC regulatory authorities. If the PRC regulatory authorities were to take any action to limit or prohibit the distribution of information through our platform or our services, or to limit or regulate any current or future content or services available to users on our platform, our business could be significantly harmed.

In addition, we operate discussion forums, blogs, comment sections and user surveys for our users to interact on our platform, such as expressing opinions, posting comments and discussing with each other, and thereby generating our user interactive content. We have implemented an efficient and thorough content screening and monitoring mechanism which involve both automated filtering and manual review, to timely remove any inappropriate or illegal content, including interactive content on our platform. However, such procedures may not prevent all illegal or impropriate content or comments from being posted, and our editorial staff may fail to review and screen such content or comments effectively.

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Failure to identify and prevent illegal or inappropriate content from being distributed on our platform may subject us to liability. To the extent that PRC regulatory authorities find any content on our platform objectionable, they may require us to limit or eliminate the dissemination of such content on our platform in the form of take-down orders or otherwise. In addition, PRC laws and regulations are subject to interpretation by the relevant authorities, and it may not be possible to determine in all cases the types of content that could result in our liability as a platform operator.

If we fail to develop effective online advertising services, retain or acquire new online advertising services customers, or manage the credit risk of our customers, our financial condition, results of operations and prospects may be materially and adversely affected.

We generate a majority of our revenues from online advertising services. Revenues generated from online advertising services accounted for 43.2%, 44.7%, and 67.8% of our total revenues in 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively. Our ability to generate and maintain our revenues from online advertising services depends on a number of factors, including our brand value, our user and customer base and competition in the online advertising services market. We cannot assure you that we will be able to retain or acquire online advertising services customers in the future or maintain or increase the pricing of online advertising services. For instance, if our online advertising services customers find that they can gain public attention more efficiently elsewhere, or if our competitors provide online advertising services that suit their goals better, we may lose our online advertising services customers. In addition, third parties may develop and use certain technologies to block the display of our online advertising services customers’ advertisements on our platform. As a result, we may lose our online advertising services customers or be forced to reduce our pricing as our customers’ advertisement becomes less effective due to more limited reach, which in turn materially and adversely affects our results of operations. Additionally, if our online advertising services customers determine that their advertising expenditures on our platform do not generate expected returns, they may bargain with us for lower pricing or reduce or terminate cooperation with us. Furthermore, given most of our online advertising service agreement with customers are short-term contracts, our customers may reduce or discontinue cooperation with us easily without incurring material liabilities. In addition, any inability of our customers to pay us in a timely manner and any failure in managing such credit risk may adversely affect our liquidity and cash flows, which in turn has a material adverse effect on our business operations and financial condition.

COVID-19 outbreaks may adversely affect our business.

COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in prolonged mandatory quarantines, lockdown, closures of businesses and facilities and travel restrictions imposed by the Chinese government and other countries around the world. Failure to contain the further spread of COVID-19 will prolong and exacerbate the general economic downturn, and our business, financial condition or results of operations could be adversely affected. While there has been intensifying efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 by the governments of the countries and territories affected, the extent to which COVID-19 impacts our results is highly uncertain. As of the date of this annual report, we have experienced and do expect certain adverse impacts from the spread of COVID-19, such as delays or cancelations of our offline events and training, as well as the curtailment of advertising expenditures by certain customers, which adversely affected our financial results, including but not limited to decreased revenues and slower collection of receivables, additional allowance for credit losses and impairment to our long-term assets. As the epidemic has its shadows over society as a whole, some of our clients are seriously suffering and delayed or cancelled their budget. Meanwhile, since we serve clients from a wide spectrum of industries, the operational risk from reduced demand is partially diversified and offset. In addition, we are also able to partner with those clients that are less impacted or experience booming demand due to the containment measures, including clients in e-commerce, online entertainment, online retail, telecommuting, and enterprise services industries. As COVID-19 situation is evolving and business visibility is still limited, we are closely monitoring the epidemic development and evaluating its impact on our business. However, any potential impact to our results will depend on, to a large extent, future developments and new information that may emerge concerning the duration and severity of COVID-19 and the actions taken by government authorities and other entities to contain COVID-19 or treat its impact, almost all of which are beyond our control.

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We may be adversely affected by the complexity, uncertainties and changes in PRC regulation of Internet businesses and companies, including limitations on our ability to own key assets such as our platform.

The Chinese government heavily regulates the Internet industry, including foreign investment in the Chinese Internet industry, content on the Internet and license and permit requirements for services providers in the Internet industry. Since some of the laws, regulations and legal requirements with respect to the Internet are relatively new and evolving, their interpretation and enforcement involve significant uncertainties. In addition, the Chinese legal system is based on written statutes, such that prior court decisions can only be cited for reference and have little precedential value. As a result, in many cases it is difficult to determine what actions or omissions may result in liabilities. Issues, risks and uncertainties relating to China’s government regulation of the Chinese Internet sector include the following:

We operate our platform in China through entities controlled via contractual arrangements versus direct ownership due to restrictions on foreign investment.

Uncertainties relating to the regulation of the Internet business in China, including evolving licensing practices, give rise to the risk that some of our permits, licenses or operations may be subject to challenge, which may be disruptive to our business, subject us to sanctions or require us to increase capital, compromise the enforceability of relevant contractual arrangements, or have other adverse effects on us. The numerous and often vague restrictions on acceptable content in China may subject us to potential civil and criminal liability, temporary blockage of platform or complete shut-down of our platform.

Due to the increasing popularity and use of the Internet and other online services, it is possible that a number of laws and regulations may be adopted with respect to the Internet or other online services covering issues such as user privacy, pricing, content, copyrights, distribution, antitrust and characteristics and quality of products and services. The adoption of additional laws or regulations may impede the growth of the Internet or other online services, which could, in turn, decrease the demand for our content and services and increase our cost of doing business. Moreover, the applicability to the Internet and other online services of existing laws in various jurisdictions governing issues such as property ownership, sales and other taxes, libel and personal privacy is uncertain and may take years to resolve. Any new legislation or regulation, the application of laws and regulations from jurisdictions whose laws do not currently apply to our business, or the application of existing laws and regulations to the Internet and other online services could significantly disrupt our operations or subject us to penalties.

In addition, the PRC regulatory authorities have recently taken steps to strengthen the regulation on cybersecurity and data protection. On June 10, 2021, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress promulgated the PRC Data Security Law, effective on September 1, 2021. On August 20, 2021, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress promulgated the PRC Personal Information Protection Law, which has become effective on November 1, 2021. On January 4, 2022, the CAC published the Revised Cybersecurity Review Measures, effective on February 15, 2022 and repealed the Cybersecurity Review Measures promulgated on April 13, 2020. Such Measures further restate and expand the applicable scope of the cybersecurity review. Pursuant to the Cybersecurity Review Measures, critical information infrastructure operators that procure internet products and services, and network platform operators engaging in data processing activities, must be subject to the cybersecurity review if their activities affect or may affect national security. In addition, network platform operators holding over one million users’ personal information shall apply with the Cybersecurity Review Office for a cybersecurity review before conducting any public offering in a foreign country. On August 17, 2021, the state council promulgated the Regulations on Protection of Critical Information Infrastructure, which became effective on September 1, 2021. On January 4, 2022, the CAC published the Administrative Provisions on Internet Information Service Algorithm Recommendation on its website, effective on March 1, 2022. These newly promulgated laws and regulations reflect PRC government further attempts to strengthen the legal protection for the national network security, data security, the security of key information infrastructure and the security of personal information protection. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—4.B. Business Overview—Regulation— Regulation on Cybersecurity and Censorship” for details on regulations over data protection and privacy in the PRC.

We have been taking and will continue to take reasonable measures to comply with such laws, regulations, announcement, provisions and inspection requirements; however, as such laws, regulations, announcement and provisions are relatively new, it remains uncertain how these announcements and provisions will be implemented. We cannot assure you we can adapt our operations to it in a timely manner. Evolving interpretations of such laws, regulations, announcements and provisions or any future regulatory changes might impose additional restrictions on us generating and processing personal and behavioral data. We may be subject to additional regulations, laws and policies adopted by the PRC government to apply more stringent social and ethical standards in data privacy resulting from the increased global focus on this area. To the extent that we need to alter our business model or practices to adapt to these announcement and provisions and future regulations, laws and policies, we could incur additional expenses.

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The interpretation and application of existing PRC laws, regulations and policies, the stated positions of relevant PRC government authorities and possible new laws, regulations or policies have created substantial uncertainties regarding the legality of existing and future foreign investments in, and the businesses and activities of, Internet businesses in China, including our business. In addition, the direct shareholders of our VIE are PRC incorporated entities rather than PRC individuals. Therefore, the upward ownership structure and ultimate beneficial parties of such shareholders may vary from time to time, and we or our VIE may not be informed or aware of such variations. If any such change results in direct or indirect foreign stake in any of the shareholders of our VIE, our VIE may not be eligible for maintaining certain existing licenses to operate business where foreign investment is prohibited or restricted.

Lack of Internet news information license may expose us to administrative sanctions, which would materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

The PRC government regulates the Internet industry extensively, including foreign ownership of, and the licensing requirements pertaining to, companies in the Internet industry. A number of regulatory agencies, including the Ministry of Culture, or the MOC, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, or the MIIT, the Cyberspace Administration of China, or CAC, the National Radio and Television Administration, or the NRTA (previously known as the State Administration of Press Publication, Radio, Film and Television, or the SAPPRFT), the State Council Information Office, or the SCIO, and other governmental authorities, jointly regulate all major aspects of the Internet industry. Operators are required to obtain various government approvals and licenses prior to providing the relevant Internet information services.

The content provided on our platform, including New Economy-focused industry reports, market updates, flash updates, columns and interviews, may be deemed to be news information content. Pursuant to the Provisions for the Administration of Internet News Information Services issued by the national CAC on May 2, 2017 that became effective on June 1, 2017, an Internet news information license shall be obtained for a provider of Internet news information services to the public in a variety of ways, including forwarding Internet news information and offering of platforms for the dissemination of Internet news information. As such, we may be required to obtain an Internet news information license from CAC for our business. In practice, competent Internet news information services providers that are not state-owned, such as our company, may need to introduce a state-owned shareholder in order to facilitate the application and approval process for the Internet news information license. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—4.B. Business Overview—Regulation—Regulation on Internet News Services.”

In addition, according to the Provisions for the Administration of Internet News Information Services, those that apply for a license for Internet news information collecting, editing and publishing services shall be news agencies (including the entities held thereby) or the entities under the charge of news publicity authorities. Internet news information services providers shall separate their news collection and editing services from other operational businesses and non-state-owned capitals shall not engage in services of collecting and editing Internet news information. We are not a news agency or a state-owned entity engaging in services of collecting and editing Internet news information. As such, we may not be permitted to collect and edit Internet news information. As a result, the CAC or its applicable office at the provincial level may, at its sole discretion, order us to cease relevant operations, and impose a fine of more than RMB10,000 and less than RMB30,000; where a crime is constituted, it shall be subject to criminal liabilities.

We plan to apply for the Internet news information license from the CAC through our VIE when it is feasible to do so. However, there can be no assurance that our application will be accepted or approved by the CAC. In the event we fail to obtain the Internet news information license, we may be ordered to suspend relevant business and our results of operations and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected. As of the date of this annual report, we have not received any notice of warning or been subject to any material administrative penalties or other disciplinary actions from the relevant governmental authorities for lack of the Internet news information license. However, in the past, CAC ordered certain PRC companies to suspend their online content offerings for a certain period of time due to their lack of Internet news information license. As such, we cannot assure you that we will not be subject to similar or other penalties, such as any warning, investigations, suspension of some or all of our content offerings or other penalties that may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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Lack of Internet audio-visual program transmission license may expose us to administrative sanctions, which would materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Pursuant to the Administrative Provisions on Internet Audio-visual Program Service, or the Audio-visual Program Provisions, which was issued by the MIIT and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, or the SARFT (the predecessor of SAPPRFT) on December 20, 2007 and came into effect on January 31, 2008 and was amended on August 28, 2015, online transmission of audio and video programs requires an Internet audio-visual program transmission license and online audio-visual services providers must be either wholly state-owned or state-controlled. In a press conference jointly held by SARFT and MIIT to answer questions with respect to the Audio-visual Program Provisions in February 2008, SARFT and MIIT clarified that online audio-visual services providers that had already been operating lawfully prior to the issuance of the Audio-visual Program Provisions may re-register and continue to operate without becoming state-owned or controlled, provided that such providers have not engaged in any unlawful activities. This exemption will not be granted to online audio-video services providers established after the Audio-visual Program Provisions was issued. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—4.B. Business Overview—RegulationRegulations on Internet Audio-visual Program Services.”

We provide our content in various formats, including audio and video, on our platform and several third parties platform. If such content offerings are considered as online transmission of audio and video programs, we may be required to obtain the Internet audio-visual program transmission license. We currently do not possess such license. If the relevant regulatory authorities find our operations to be in violation of the applicable laws and regulations, we may receive a warning and be ordered to rectify such non-compliance and pay a fine of not more than RMB30,000. In severe cases, we may be ordered to cease transmission of audio and video programs, be subject to a penalty equal to one to two times our total investment in the affected business and the devices we used for such operation may be confiscated. Furthermore, according to the Audiovisual Program Provisions, the telecommunications administrative authorities may, based on written opinions of the SARFT, and in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations on supervision of telecommunications and Internet, close our platform, revoke the relevant license or filings for the provision of Internet information service and order the relevant network operation entity which provides us signal access services to stop such provision of services. As of the date of this annual report, we have not received any notice of warning or been subject to any material administrative penalties or other disciplinary actions from the relevant governmental authorities for lack of the Internet audio-visual program transmission license. However, in the past, the relevant governmental authorities penalized certain PRC companies due to their lack of the Internet audio-visual program transmission license. As such, we cannot assure you that we will not be subject to any warning, investigations suspension of some of our content offerings or other penalties that may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Lack of Internet publishing license may expose us to administrative sanctions, which would materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

On February 4, 2016, the SAPPRFT and the MIIT jointly issued the Rules for the Administration for Internet Publishing Services, or the Internet Publishing Rules, which took effect on March 10, 2016 and prohibit wholly foreign-owned enterprises, Sino-foreign equity joint ventures and Sino-foreign cooperative enterprises from engaging in the provision of web publishing services. Under these rules, providers of online publications are required to hold the Internet publishing license. However, uncertainty remains regarding the interpretation of relevant concepts, including “online publications” under the current PRC laws and regulations. Although we have not been required by the General Administration of Press and Publication or other relevant authorities to obtain the Internet publishing license as of the date of this annual report, we may face further scrutiny by such authorities, and they may require us to apply for such license or subject us to penalties. In addition, cooperation between Internet publishing services providers and wholly foreign-owned enterprises, Sino-foreign equity joint ventures, or Sino-foreign cooperative enterprises within China or overseas organizations or individuals engaging in Internet publishing business shall be subject to examination and approval by the General Administration of Press and Publication in advance. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—4.B. Business Overview—Regulation—Regulations on Internet Publishing.”

If the provision of our in-house-generated content, in the forms of articles, pictures, audio and video clips, on our online platform is considered “online publishing”, we may be required to obtain the Internet publishing license. If the relevant regulatory authorities find our operations without an Internet publishing license to be in violation of the applicable laws and regulations, such regulatory authorities may order us to cease relevant operations or close our platform, or confiscate the devices we used for such operation. If our revenue from such violation is less than RMB10,000, the relevant regulatory authorities may impose a fine of less than RMB50,000. If our revenue from such violation is RMB10,000 or above, such regulatory authorities may impose a fine equivalent to five to ten times of our revenue from the violation. In addition to the administrative penalties, our operation without the Internet publishing license may also subject us to civil and criminal liabilities.

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We plan to apply for the Internet publishing license through our VIE when it is feasible to do so. However, there can be no assurance that the application will be accepted or approved by the relevant regulatory authorities. As of the date of this annual report, we have not received any notice of warning or been subject to material administrative penalties or other disciplinary actions from the relevant governmental authorities for lack of the license, which have had a material adverse impact on our business. However, we cannot assure you that we will not be subject to any warning, investigations suspension of some or all of our content offerings or other penalties that may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Advertisements on our platform may subject us to penalties and other administrative actions.

Under PRC advertising laws and regulations, we are obligated to monitor the advertising content shown on our platform to ensure that such content is true, accurate and in full compliance with applicable laws and regulations. In addition, where a special government review is required for specific types of advertisements prior to posting, such as advertisements relating to pharmaceuticals, medical instruments, agrochemicals and veterinary pharmaceuticals, we are obligated to confirm that such review has been performed and approval has been obtained from competent governmental authorities. To fulfill these monitoring functions, we typically include clauses in our online advertising contracts requiring that all advertising content provided by online advertising services customers must comply with relevant laws and regulations. Under PRC law, we may have claims against online advertising services customers for all damages to us caused by their breach of such representations. Violation of these laws and regulations may subject us to penalties, including fines, confiscation of our online advertising income, orders to cease dissemination of the advertisements and orders to publish an announcement correcting the misleading information. In circumstances involving serious violations, such as posting a pharmaceutical product advertisement without approval, or posting an advertisement for fake pharmaceutical product, PRC regulatory authorities may force us to terminate our online advertising operation or revoke our licenses. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—4.B. Business Overview—Regulation—Regulations on Online Advertising Services.”

A majority of the advertisements shown on our platform are provided to us by third parties. Although we have implemented automated and manual content monitoring systems and significant efforts have been made to ensure that the advertisements shown on our platform are in full compliance with applicable laws and regulations, we cannot assure you that all the content contained in such advertisements is true, accurate and legitimate as required by the advertising laws and regulations, especially given the uncertainty in the application of these laws and regulations. The inability of our systems and procedures to adequately and timely discover such evasions may subject us to regulatory penalties or administrative sanctions. Although we have not been subject to material penalties or administrative sanctions in the past for the advertisements shown on our platform, if we are found to be in violation of applicable PRC advertising laws and regulations in the future, we may be subject to penalties and our reputation may be harmed, which may have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—4.B. Business Overview—Regulation—Regulations on Online Advertising Services.”

We face competition in major aspects of our business. If we are unable to compete effectively in the industry we operate, our business, results of operations and financial condition may be materially and adversely affected.

The New Economy-focused business services market is highly competitive. Our online advertising services face competition from other content-based online advertising services providers as well as technology channels of major Internet information portals, such as Sina and Tencent News. For our enterprise value-added services, we face competition from other New Economy-focused enterprise value-added services providers as well as traditional marketing, consulting and public relation companies. We also compete with paid content services providers and online/offline training agencies with respect to our subscription services. We also face competition from traditional advertising media. If we cannot effectively compete with these platforms and distribution channels for marketing budgets of our existing and potential customers, our results of operations and growth prospects could be adversely affected.

Our competition is primarily centered on increasing user traffic, user engagement and brand recognition, as well as customer acquisition and retention, among other factors. Some of our competitors have longer operating histories and significantly greater financial resources than we do, which may allow them to attract and retain more users and customers. Our competitors may compete with us in a variety of ways, including by offering popular content, introducing new business services, conducting more aggressive brand promotions and other marketing activities and through investments and acquisitions. If any of our competitors achieve greater market acceptance or is able to offer more attractive content and business services than us, our user traffic, customer acquisition and retention, brand value and market share may decrease, which may have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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If we are unable to conduct our marketing activities cost-effectively, our results of operations and financial condition may be materially and adversely affected.

We have incurred expenses on a variety of marketing and branding activities. In 2019, 2020 and 2021, we incurred RMB131.3 million, RMB140.7 million and RMB143.9 million (US$22.6 million) in sales and marketing expenses, accounting for 20.0%, 36.4% and 45.4% of our total revenues, respectively. Our marketing and branding activities may not be well received, successful or cost-effective, which may lead to significantly higher marketing expenses in the future. We may also not be able to continue our existing marketing and branding activities. Failure to refine our existing marketing strategies or introduce new effective marketing strategies in a cost-effective manner could impact our business operations and financial performance.

Content provided on our platform may expose us to libel or other legal claims which may result in costly legal damages.

Claims may be threatened and filed against us for libel, defamation, invasion of privacy, intellectual property right infringements and other theories based on the nature and content of the information distributed on our platform. While we screen our content for such potential liability, there is no assurance that our screening process will identify all potential liability, especially liability arising from our user interactive content and content we source from third parties. In the past, there was no claim brought against us which resulted in material liability, but we cannot assure you we will not be subject to future claims that could be costly, encourage similar lawsuits, distract our management team and harm our reputation and possibly our business.

If we are unable to manage our growth, our business and prospects may be materially and adversely affected.

We have experienced rapid growth since our incorporation in 2016. To manage our business expansion, we need to continuously expand and enhance our infrastructure and technology, and improve our operational and financial systems, procedures and internal controls. We cannot assure you that our current and planned personnel, infrastructure, systems, procedures and controls will be adequate to support our expanding operations. We may be required to spend more on sales and marketing in order to support any such expansion and our efforts may not be effective. If we fail to manage our expansion effectively or efficiently, our business and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

We may face challenges in expanding our international and local operations.

We rely on our diversified distribution channels to deliver our content to users in a cost-effective and timely manner. Specifically, we collaborate with established overseas and local media companies in setting up overseas and local stations. On the one hand, we face risks associated with expanding into new regions and markets in which we have limited or no experience and in which our brand may be less known. We may be unable to attract a sufficient number of users and other participants through our overseas and local stations. We may face fierce competition from overseas and local markets or other difficulties in operating effectively in these new markets. On the other hand, our international expansion and local penetration will also expose us to risk such as increased demands on management, operational and financial resources, different regulatory compliance requirements and exchange rate fluctuations, among others. One or more of these factors could adversely impact our international and local operations. Accordingly, any efforts we make to expand our international and local operations may not be successful.

Future investments in and acquisitions of complementary assets, technologies and businesses may fail and may result in equity or earnings dilution.

We may invest in or acquire assets, technologies and businesses that are complementary to our existing business. Our investments or acquisitions may not yield the results we expect. In addition, investments and acquisitions could result in the use of substantial amounts of cash, potentially dilutive issuances of equity securities, significant amortization expenses related to goodwill or intangible assets and exposure to potential unknown liabilities of the acquired business. Furthermore, if such goodwill or intangible assets become impaired, we may be required to record a significant charge to our results of operations. Such investments and acquisitions may also require our management team to devote a significant amount of attention. Moreover, the cost of identifying and consummating investments and acquisitions, and integrating the acquired businesses into ours, may be significant, and the integration of acquired businesses may be disruptive to our existing business operations. In addition, we may have to obtain approval from the relevant PRC governmental authorities for the investments and acquisitions and comply with any applicable PRC rules and regulations, which may be costly. In the event our investments and acquisitions are not successful, our results of operations and financial condition may be materially and adversely affected.

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We have recorded negative cash flows from operating activities historically. We may need additional capital, and we may be unable to obtain such capital in a timely manner or on acceptable terms, or at all.

We have experienced cash outflow from operating activities in history. We recorded net cash used in operating activities of RMB158.9 million and RMB17.1 million in 2019 and 2020, respectively and net cash provided by operating activities of RMB195.0 million (US$30.6 million) in 2021. The cost of continuing operations could further reduce our cash position, and an increase in our net cash outflow from operating activities could adversely affect our operations by reducing the amount of cash available to meet the capital needs for our daily operation and future business expansion. Our ability to obtain additional capital is subject to a variety of uncertainties, including:

our market position and competitiveness in the New Economy-focused business services market;
our future profitability, overall financial condition, results of operations and cash flows;
general market conditions for capital raising activities by New Economy and other Internet companies in China; and
economic, political and other conditions in China and internationally.

We may be unable to obtain additional capital in a timely manner or on acceptable terms or at all. In addition, due to future capital needs and other business reasons, we may need to sell additional equity or debt securities or obtain a credit facility. The sale of additional equity or equity-linked securities could dilute our shareholders. The incurrence of indebtedness would result in increased debt service obligations and could result in operating and financing covenants that would restrict our operations or our ability to pay dividends to our shareholders.

If we fail to collect accounts receivable from our customers in a timely manner, our business operations and financial results may be materially and adversely affected.

Accounts receivable are generally non-interest bearing and are on terms between 90 to 270 days. In some cases, these terms are extended for certain qualifying long-term customers who have met specific credit requirements. As of December 31, 2021, accounts receivable amounted to RMB129.4 million (US$20.3 million) has been derived from the advertisement agent services that mentioned in “Item 4. Information on the Company—4.B. Business Overview—Our Business Services.” We generally make a credit assessment of our customers before entering into an agreement with them. Nevertheless, we cannot assure you that we are or will be able to accurately assess the creditworthiness of each customer. Furthermore, the financial soundness of our customers, which is beyond our control, may affect our collection of accounts receivable. Any delay in payment or failed payment may adversely affect our liquidity and cash flows, which in turn has a material adverse effect on our business operations and financial results.

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

Our success depends on the continued and collaborative efforts of our senior management. If, however, one or more of our executives or other key personnel are unable or unwilling to continue to provide services to us, we may not be able to find suitable replacements easily or at all. Competition for management and key personnel is intense and the pool of qualified candidates is limited. We may not be able to retain the services of our executives or key personnel, or attract and retain experienced executives or key personnel in the future. If any of our executive officers or key employees joins a competitor or forms a competing business, we may lose crucial business secrets, technological know-hows, customers and other valuable resources.

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We may be subject to intellectual property infringement claims or other allegations by third parties for information or content distributed on our platform, which may be expensive to defend and may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and prospects.

Our success depends, in large part, on our ability to operate our business without infringing third-party rights, including third-party intellectual property rights. Companies in the Internet, technology and media industries own, and are seeking to obtain, a large number of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets, and they are frequently involved in litigation based on allegations of infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights or other related legal rights. The validity, enforceability and scope of protection of intellectual property rights in Internet-related industries, particularly in China, are uncertain and still evolving. As we face increasing competition and as litigation becomes more common in China in resolving commercial disputes, we face a higher risk of being the subject of intellectual property infringement claims.

While our content screening and monitoring mechanism screens content for potential copyright infringements, we may not be able to identify all instances of copyright infringement, especially those arising from professional content we source from third parties. For example, content providers may submit copyrighted content that they have no right to distribute. In the event we deliver content that violates the copyrights of a third party, we may be required to pay damages to compensate such third party. In addition, our platform allows our users to voice their opinions, express their views, discuss with each other and provide feedbacks to our content. Content posted by our users may expose us to allegations by third parties of infringement of intellectual property rights, invasion of privacy, defamation and other violations of third-party rights. Pursuant to our user agreement, users agree not to post any content that is illegal, obscene or may otherwise violate generally accepted codes of ethics. We have also implemented automated and manual review of the content on our platform. However, there is no assurance that we can identify and remove all potentially infringing content uploaded by our users. As a result, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected.

Third parties may take action and file claims against us if they believe that certain content on our site violates their copyrights or other related legal rights. We have been, and may in the future be, subject to such claims in the PRC.

In addition, we operate our platform primarily through our VIE and its subsidiaries, and our ability to monitor content as described above depends in large part on the experience and skills of the management of, and our control over, those consolidated affiliated entities. Our control over the management and operations of our consolidated affiliated entities through contractual arrangements may not be as effective as that through direct ownership. See “Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure—We rely on contractual arrangements with our VIE and its shareholders to operate our business, which may not be as effective as direct ownership in providing operational control and otherwise materially and adversely affect our business.”

Although we have not been subject to claims or lawsuits with respect to copyright infringement outside of China, we cannot assure you that we will not become subject to copyright laws or legal proceedings initiated by third parties in other jurisdictions, such as the United States, as a result of the ability of users to access our content in the United States and other jurisdictions, the ownership of our ADSs by investors in the United States and other jurisdictions, the extraterritorial application of foreign law by foreign courts, the fact that we sub-licensed content from licensors who in turn obtained their authorizations from content providers in the United States and other jurisdictions or otherwise. In addition, as a publicly listed company, we may be exposed to increased risk of litigation. If a claim of infringement brought against us in the United States or other jurisdictions is successful, we may be required to, upon enforcement, (i) pay substantial statutory or other damages and fines, (ii) remove relevant content from our platform or (iii) enter into royalty or license agreements which may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all.

We may not be able to adequately protect our intellectual property and prevent others from unauthorized use of our intellectual property, which could cause us to be less competitive and harm our business.

We rely on a combination of copyright, trademark and other intellectual property laws and confidentiality agreements and other measures to protect our intellectual property rights. Despite our efforts to protect our proprietary rights, unauthorized parties may attempt to copy or otherwise obtain and use our copyrighted content and other intellectual property. Monitoring such unauthorized use is difficult and costly, and we cannot be certain that the steps we have taken will prevent misappropriation. 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. The PRC has historically afforded less protection to a company’s intellectual property than the United States and the Cayman Islands, and therefore companies such as ours operating in the PRC face an increased risk of intellectual property piracy.

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We may from time to time become a party to litigation, legal disputes, claims or administrative proceedings that may materially and adversely affect us.

We may from time to time become a party to various litigation, legal disputes, claims or administrative proceedings arising in the ordinary course of our business. We may also get involved in legal disputes, claims or litigation in connection with our major corporate actions. For example, in connection with our reorganization in August 2019, shareholders of Xieli Zhucheng are entitled to designate an entity to subscribe for and/or receive shares of our company reflecting their respective indirect ownership percentages in our VIE before completion of the reorganization. A certain shareholder of Xieli Zhucheng, however, has not officially responded to Xieli Zhucheng’s request for such designation. As such, Xieli Zhucheng designated an offshore entity to hold the shares that such shareholder is entitled to receive in the reorganization, which represent 1.4% of our total outstanding shares as of the date of this annual report, pending further instructions from such shareholder. We cannot assure you, however, that such shareholder will be satisfied with such arrangement or will not file any claim or lawsuit against Xieli Zhucheng or us to claim for damages or even challenge the validity of the reorganization and our contractual arrangements with our VIE.

We cannot predict the outcome of any litigation, legal disputes, claims or administrative proceedings. If any verdict or award is rendered against us or if we decide to settle the disputes, we may be required to incur monetary damages or other liabilities. Even if we can successfully defend ourselves, we may have to incur substantial costs and spend substantial time and efforts in these lawsuits. Negative publicity relating to such litigation, legal disputes, claims or administrative proceedings may damage our reputation and adversely affect the image of our brand and services. Furthermore, any litigation, legal disputes, claims or administrative proceedings which are not of material importance may escalate due to the various factors involved, such as the facts and circumstances of the cases, the likelihood of winning or losing, the monetary amount at stake, and the parties concerned continue to evolve in the future, and such factors may result in these cases becoming of material importance to us. Consequently, any ongoing or future litigation, legal disputes, claims or administrative proceedings could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We have undertaken strategic partnerships which may not be successful. If our collaboration with any of our strategic partners is terminated or curtailed, or if we are no longer able to benefit from the business collaborations with our strategic partners, our business may be adversely affected.

Our business has benefited from our collaborations with our strategic partners to provide services that are critical to our businesses. For example, through our strategic partnership with JingData, we collectively contribute to and manage a massive database of over 840,000 enterprises, which is essential to our business. If there is a material disruption in the business of JingData, or any systems failure or security breach or lapse from JingData, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected. We cannot assure you that such alliances or partnerships will make a positive contribution to our business, and we might not be able to maintain our cooperative relationships with our strategic partners and their respective affiliates in the future. If the services provided by these strategic partners become limited, compromised, restricted, curtailed or less effective or become more expensive or unavailable to us for any reason, our business may be materially and adversely affected. To the extent we cannot maintain our cooperative relationships with any of these strategic partners, it may be very difficult for us to identify other alternative partners, which may divert significant management attention from existing business operations and adversely impact our daily operation and customer experience.

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

We have experienced, and may experience in the future, 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 to an overwhelming number of people accessing our 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.

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As the number of our users increases and as we continue to diversify into new content formats, we may be required to expand and adapt our technology and infrastructure to continue to reliably store, analyze and deliver 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 our platform or we are not able to make information available rapidly on our platform, or at all, users may become frustrated and seek other channels for their New Economy-focused content, and may not return to our platform or use our platform as often in the future, or at all. This would negatively impact our ability to attract users and maintain high level of user engagements as well as our ability to attract online advertising services customers.

Our operations depend on the performance of the Internet infrastructure and fixed telecommunications networks in China. Any malfunction, capacity constraint or operation interruption may have an adverse impact on our business.

The successful operation of our business depends on the performance of the Internet infrastructure and telecommunications networks in China. Almost all access to the Internet is maintained through state-owned telecommunications operators under the administrative control and regulatory supervision of the MIIT. Moreover, we primarily rely on a limited number of telecommunication services providers to provide us with data communications capacity. 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 telecommunications networks provided by telecommunications services providers. 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. However, we have no control over the costs of the services provided by telecommunications services providers. If the prices we pay for telecommunications and Internet services rise significantly, our results of operations may be materially and adversely affected. If Internet access fees or other charges to Internet users increase, our user traffic may decline and our business may be harmed.

Privacy concerns relating to our services and the use of user information could damage our reputation, deter current and potential users and customers from using our services and negatively impact our business.

We collect personal data from our users in order to better study and predict the preferences and demands of our users, and in turn tailor and recommend our content offerings accordingly. Concerns about the collection, use, disclosure or security of personal information or other privacy-related matters, even if unfounded, could damage our reputation, cause us to lose users and customers and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. While we strive to comply with applicable data protection laws and regulations, as well as our own posted privacy policies and other obligations we may have with respect to privacy and data protection, the failure or perceived failure to comply may result, and in some cases has 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, which could have an adverse effect on our business.

Any systems failure or compromise of our security that results in the unauthorized access to or release of our users’ or customers’ data could significantly limit the adoption of our services, as well as harm our reputation and brand and, therefore, our business. We expect to continue to expend 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 products and services we offer and expand our user base.

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, may be inconsistent with our practices. 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 “Item 4. Information on the Company—4.B. Business Overview—Regulation—Regulation on Privacy Protection.”

If our security measures are breached, or if our services are subject to attacks that degrade or deny the ability of users to access our services, our services may be perceived as not being secure, users may curtail or stop using our services and our business, results of operations and financial condition may be harmed.

Our services involve the storage and transmission of users’ information, and security breaches expose us to a risk of loss of this information, litigation and potential liability. Our user data is encrypted and saved on cloud-based servers, protected by access control, and further backed up in long-distance servers, so as to minimize the possibility of data loss or breach. Upon a security breach, our technical team will be notified immediately and diagnose and solve the technical problems. As of the date of this annual report, we have not experienced any material incidents of security breach.

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Despite the security measures we have implemented, we may experience cyber-attacks of varying degrees, including attempts to hack into our user accounts or redirect our user traffic to other websites. Functions that facilitate interactivity with other mobile applications, which among other things allow users to log into our platform using their accounts or identities, could increase the scope of access of hackers to user accounts. Our security measures may also be breached due to employee error, malfeasance or otherwise. Additionally, outside parties may attempt to fraudulently induce employees or users to disclose sensitive information in order to gain access to our data or our users’ data or accounts, or may otherwise obtain access to such data or accounts. Any such breach or unauthorized access could result in significant legal and financial exposure, damage to our reputation and a loss of confidence in the security of our services that could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, disable or degrade service or sabotage systems change frequently and often are not recognized until launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures. If an actual or perceived breach of our security occurs, the market perception of the effectiveness of our security measures could be harmed, we could lose users and we may be exposed to significant legal and financial risks, including legal claims and regulatory fines and penalties. Any of these actions could have a material and adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our current dependence on a limited number of customers may cause significant fluctuations or declines in our revenues.

A considerable portion of our revenues is derived from a limited number of our customers. In 2021, our top five customers in aggregate accounted for 14.5% of our total revenues, and our largest customer accounted for 5.2% of our total revenues. Our largest customer in 2021 is a third-party agency, through which we provided advertising services to several companies. Nevertheless, there are inherent risks whenever a large percentage of total revenues are concentrated with a limited number of customers. It may not be possible for us to predict the future level of demand for our services by our largest customers. Actions taken by our largest customers to exploit their comparably superior bargaining position when negotiating for renewals of services agreements or otherwise could also have an adverse effect on our results of operations. In addition, revenues from the largest customers may fluctuate from time to time for reasons beyond our control. There can be no assurance that we can maintain relationships with our largest customers on commercially desirable terms. If any of the foregoing were to occur, we could be pressured to reduce the prices we charge for our services or risk losing our largest customers, which could have an adverse effect on our revenues and margins, and could negatively affect our financial position and results of operations and/or trading price of our ADSs.

Our user and customer operating metrics and other estimates are subject to inherent challenges in measuring our operating performance, which may harm our reputation.

We regularly review our operating metrics in relation to our users and customers to evaluate growth trends, measure our performance, and make strategic decisions. These metrics are calculated using our internal data as well as third-party platform’s data, have not been validated by an independent third party, and may not be indicative of our future operation results. While these numbers are based on what we believe to be reasonable estimates for the applicable period of measurement, there are inherent challenges in measuring how our platform is used across a large population in China. For example, we may not be able to distinguish individual users who have multiple registered accounts across our self-operated platforms and third-party platforms. Errors or inaccuracies in our metrics or data could result in incorrect business decisions and inefficiencies. For instance, if a significant understatement or overstatement of active users were to occur, we might expend resources to implement unnecessary business measures or fail to take required actions to remedy an unfavorable trend. If online advertising services customers or investors do not perceive our user or other operating metrics to accurately represent our user base, or if we discover inaccuracies in our user or other operating metrics, our reputation may be harmed.

If we fail to implement and maintain an effective system of internal controls over financial reporting, we may be unable to accurately or timely report our results of operations or prevent fraud, and investor confidence and the trading price of our ADSs may be materially and adversely affected.

In the course of auditing our consolidated financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2021, we and our independent registered public accounting firm identified one material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting and other control deficiencies. The material weakness identified is our lack of sufficient competent financial reporting and accounting personnel with appropriate understanding of U.S. GAAP to design and implement formal period-end financial reporting controls and procedures to address U.S. GAAP technical accounting issues, and to prepare and review the consolidated financial statements and related disclosures in accordance with U.S. GAAP and financial reporting requirements set forth by the SEC. We are in the process of implementing a number of measures to address the identified material weakness and control deficiencies. However, we cannot assure you that these measures may fully address or remediate the material weakness and control deficiencies.

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As a public company in the United States, we are subject to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or Section 404, requires that we include a report from 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, 2020. 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, as 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 or more material weaknesses or 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. Generally speaking, 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 have limited business insurance coverage which could expose us to significant costs and business disruption.

Insurance companies in China offer limited business insurance products. We do not have any business liability or disruption insurance coverage for our operations in China. Any business disruption may result in our incurring substantial costs and the diversion of our resources, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

Our quarterly operating results may fluctuate, which makes our results of operations difficult to predict and may cause our quarterly results of operations to fall short of expectations.

Our quarterly operating results have fluctuated in the past and may continue to fluctuate depending upon a number of factors, many of which are out of our control. Our operating results tend to be seasonal. For instance, advertising and marketing activities tend to be less active during the first quarter, which is Chinese New Year holiday season. As compared to the first quarter, our online advertising services customers tend to increase advertising and marketing spending near the end of each calendar year when they spend their remaining annual budgets. Moreover, as most of our online/ offline events are hosted in the fourth quarter of each year, we also experience increase in revenues during the fourth quarter of each year for our enterprise value-added services. For these reasons, comparing our operating results on a period-to-period basis may not be meaningful, and you should not rely on our past results as an indication of our future performance. Our quarterly and annual revenues and costs and expenses as a percentage of our revenues in a given period may be significantly different from our historical or projected rates and our operating results in future quarters may fall below expectations.

We have granted, and may continue to grant, share incentives, which may have an adverse effect on our future profit.

Xieli Zhucheng adopted a share incentive plan in 2014, or the 2014 Share Incentive Plan and Beijing Duoke adopted a share incentive plan in December 2016, or the 2016 Share Incentive Plan, to enhance its ability to attract and retain exceptionally qualified individuals and to encourage them to acquire a proprietary interest in the growth and performance of us. In September 2019, 36Kr Holdings Inc. adopted a share incentive plan, which we refer to as the 2019 Share Incentive Plan. The 2014 Share Incentive Plan and 2016 Share Incentive Plan were canceled concurrently upon the adoption of the 2019 Share Incentive Plan, and each participant of the 2014 Share Incentive Plan and 2016 Share Incentive Plan received corresponding grants of options under the 2019 Share Incentive Plan. In June 2021, we amended the 2019 Incentive Plan with the approval of the board of directors, pursuant to which the maximum aggregate number of ordinary shares which may be issued pursuant to all awards under the 2019 Share Incentive Plan is 162,186,000. See “Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees—6.B. Compensation—Share Incentive Plan.”

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In 2019, 2020 and 2021, we recorded RMB91.2 million, RMB39.3 million and RMB15.0 million (US$2.4 million), respectively, in share-based compensation expenses. We believe the granting of share-based awards is significant for us to attract and retain key personnel and employees, and we will continue to grant share-based compensation 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.

A severe and prolonged global economic recession and the slowdown in the Chinese economy may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

The global macroeconomic environment is facing challenges, including the ongoing trade disputes and tariffs, the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and recent Russia-Ukraine crisis. The growth of the Chinese economy has slowed down since 2012 compared to the previous decade and the trend may continue. There is considerable uncertainty over the long-term effects of the monetary and fiscal policies adopted by the central banks and financial authorities of some of the world’s leading economies, including the United States and China. There have been concerns over unrest and terrorist threats in the Middle East, Europe and Africa. There have also been concerns on the relationship between China and other countries, including surrounding Asian countries, which may potentially lead to foreign investors closing down their businesses or withdrawing their investments in China and, thus, exiting the China market, and other economic effects. In addition, there have also been concerns on the relationship between China and the U.S. following rounds of tariffs imposed by the U.S. and retaliatory tariffs imposed by China. It is unclear whether these challenges and uncertainties will be contained or resolved, and what effects they may have on the global political and economic conditions in the long term. Economic conditions in China are sensitive to global economic conditions, as well as changes in domestic economic and political policies and the expected or perceived overall economic growth rate in China. Any prolonged slowdown in the global or Chinese economy may have a negative impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition, and continued turbulence in the international markets may adversely affect our ability to access the capital markets to meet liquidity needs. Our customers may reduce or delay spending with us, while we may have difficulty expanding our customer base fast enough, or at all, to offset the impact of decreased spending by our existing customers. In addition, to the extent we offer credit to any customer and the customer experiences financial difficulties due to the economic slowdown, we could have difficulty collecting payment from the customer.

Any catastrophe, including natural catastrophes and outbreaks of health pandemics and other extraordinary events, could disrupt our business operation.

We are vulnerable to natural disasters and other calamities. Fire, floods, typhoons, earthquakes, power loss, telecommunications failures, break-ins, war, riots, terrorist attacks or similar events may give rise to server interruptions, breakdowns, system 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 our services.

Our business could also be adversely affected by the effects of Ebola virus disease, H1N1 flu, H7N9 flu, avian flu, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, COVID-19 or other epidemics. See “—COVID-19 outbreaks may adversely affect our business.” Our business operations could be disrupted if any of our employees is suspected of having abovementioned or any other contagious disease or condition, since it could require our employees to be quarantined and/or our offices to be disinfected. In addition, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected to the extent that any of these epidemics harms the Chinese economy in general.

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Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure

There are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current and future PRC laws, regulations, and rules relating to the agreements that establish the VIE structure for our operations in China, including potential future actions by the PRC government, which could affect the enforceability of our contractual arrangements with the VIE and, consequently, significantly affect the financial condition and results of operations performance of 36Kr. If the PRC government finds such agreements non-compliant with relevant PRC laws, regulations, and rules, or if these laws, regulations, and rules or the interpretation thereof change in the future, we could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish our interests in the VIE.

Foreign investment in the value-added telecommunication services industry in China is extensively regulated and subject to numerous restrictions. The Special Administrative Measures for Entrance of Foreign Investment (the “Negative List 2021”) provides that foreign investors are generally not allowed to own more than 50% of the equity interests in a commercial Internet content provider or other value-added telecommunication services provider other than an e-commerce services provider, and the Provisions on the Administration of Foreign-Invested Telecommunications Enterprises (2016 Revision) requires that the major foreign investor in a value-added telecommunication services provider in China must have experience in providing value-added telecommunications services overseas and maintain a good track record. In addition, foreign investors are prohibited from investing in companies engaged in Internet dissemination, Internet content provision, Internet news information services, online publishing businesses, certain Internet culture businesses, Internet audio-visual programs businesses and production and operation of radio and television programs. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—4.B. Business Overview—Regulation—Foreign Investment Law”

We are a Cayman Islands company and our subsidiary in China is currently considered a foreign-invested enterprise. Accordingly, in practice, our PRC subsidiary is not eligible to provide value-added telecommunication services or conduct other businesses which foreign-owned companies are prohibited or restricted from conducting in China. To ensure strict compliance with the PRC laws and regulations, we conduct such business activities through our VIE and its subsidiaries. Beijing Dake, our wholly owned subsidiary in China, has entered into a series of contractual arrangements with our VIE and its shareholders, which enables us to (i) exercise effective control over our VIE; (ii) receive substantially all of the economic benefits of our VIE; and (iii) have an exclusive option to purchase all or part of the equity interests and assets in our VIE when and to the extent permitted by PRC laws and regulations. For a description of these contractual arrangements, see “Item 4. Information on the Company—4.C. Organizational Structure—Contractual Arrangements with Beijing Duoke.”

If the PRC government finds that our contractual arrangements do not comply with its restrictions on foreign investment in the value-added telecommunication services and other foreign prohibited services or if the PRC government otherwise finds that we, our VIE, or any of its subsidiaries are in violation of PRC laws or regulations or lack the necessary permits or licenses to operate our business, the relevant PRC regulatory authorities would have broad discretion in dealing with such violations or failures, including:

revoking the business licenses and/or operating licenses of such entities;
discontinuing or placing restrictions or onerous conditions on our operation through any transactions between our PRC subsidiary and our VIE;
imposing fines, confiscating the income from our PRC subsidiary or our VIE, or imposing other requirements with which we or our VIE may not be able to comply;
requiring us to restructure our ownership structure or operations, including terminating the contractual arrangements with our VIE and deregistering the equity pledges of our VIE, which in turn would affect our ability to consolidate, derive economic interests from, or exert effective control over our VIE;
restricting or prohibiting our use of the proceeds of our initial public offering to finance our business and operations in China; or
taking other regulatory or enforcement actions that could be harmful to our business.

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Any of these actions could cause significant disruptions to our business operations and severely damage our reputation, which would in turn materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, new PRC laws, regulations, and rules may be introduced to impose additional requirements, posing additional challenges to our corporate structure and contractual arrangements. If any of these occurrences results in our inability to direct the activities of the VIE or our failure to receive the economic benefits from the VIE and/or our inability to claim our contractual control rights over the assets of the VIE that conducts substantially all of our operations in China, we may not be able to consolidate the entity in our consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP which could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations and cause our ADSs to significantly decline in value or become worthless.

Any failure by the VIE or its shareholders to perform their obligations under our contractual arrangements with them would have a material adverse effect on our business.

Since PRC laws prohibit or restrict foreign equity ownership in certain kinds of business in China, we have relied and expect to continue to rely on the contractual arrangements with the VIE and its shareholders to operate our business in China.

However, these contractual arrangements may not be as effective as direct ownership in providing us with control over our affiliated entities. Any of our affiliated entities, including the VIE and its shareholders, could breach their contractual arrangements with us by, among other things, failing to conduct their operations in an acceptable manner or taking other actions that are detrimental to our interests. In the event that the shareholders of the VIE breach the terms of these contractual arrangements and voluntarily liquidate the VIE, or the VIE declares bankruptcy and all or part of its assets become subject to liens or rights of third-party creditors, or are otherwise disposed of without our consent, we may be unable to conduct some or all of our business operations or otherwise benefit from the assets held by our affiliated entities, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

All of these nominee shareholders are affiliated with our Company or affiliated with certain shareholders of the Company. Particularly, Tianjin Zhanggongzi Technology Partnership (L.P.) controlled by Mr. Liu Chengcheng, the Founder and a shareholder of the Company, owns 62.17% of equity interest of the VIE, Shenzhen Guohong No. 2 Enterprise Management Partnership (L.P.), an affiliate of one our existing shareholders, owns 23.32% of equity interest of the VIE, and Ningbo Meishan Baoshui Gangqu Tianhong Lvheng Investment Management Partnership (L.P.), an affiliate of one our existing shareholders, owns 14.51% of equity interest of the VIE. The enforceability of the contractual agreements between us, the VIE and its shareholders depends to a large extent upon whether the VIE and its shareholders will fulfil these contractual agreements. Their interests in enforcing these contractual agreements may not align with our interests or the interests of our shareholders. If their interest diverges from that of our company and other shareholders, it may potentially increase the risk that they could seek to act contrary to these contractual arrangements. If the VIE or its shareholders fail to perform their respective obligations under the contractual arrangements, we may have to incur substantial costs and expend additional resources to enforce such arrangements. We may also have to rely on legal remedies under PRC law, including seeking specific performance or injunctive relief, and contractual remedies, which we cannot assure you will be sufficient or effective under PRC law. Our contractual arrangements are governed by PRC law and provide for the resolution of disputes through litigation in China. Accordingly, these agreements would be interpreted in accordance with PRC law and any disputes would be resolved in accordance with PRC legal procedures. The legal system in the PRC is not as developed as in some other jurisdictions, such as the United States. As a result, uncertainties in the PRC legal system could limit our ability to enforce these contractual arrangements. Meanwhile, there are very few precedents and little formal guidance as to how contractual arrangements in the context of a consolidated variable interest entity should be interpreted or enforced under PRC law. There remain significant uncertainties regarding the ultimate outcome of such adjudication should legal action become necessary. In the event that we are unable to enforce these contractual arrangements, or if we suffer significant delay 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 our ability to conduct our business may be negatively affected.

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The approval, filing or other requirements of the China Securities Regulatory Commission or other PRC government authorities may be required under PRC law in connection with our issuance of securities overseas, or maintenance of the listing status of our ADSs, and the PRC government’s oversight and discretion over our business operations could result in a material adverse change in our operations and the value of our ADSs.

The Regulations on Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, or the M&A Rules, 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. If CSRC approval under the M&A Rules is required, it is uncertain whether it would be possible for us to obtain the approval, and any failure to obtain or delay in obtaining CSRC approval for our future issuance of securities overseas would subject us to sanctions imposed by the CSRC and other PRC regulatory agencies.

Furthermore, we conduct our business primarily through our PRC subsidiaries and our VIE in China. Our operations in China are governed by PRC laws and regulations. The PRC government has significant oversight and discretion over the operation of our business, and it may influence our operations, which could result in a material adverse change in our operation and the value of our ADSs. The PRC government has recently indicated an intent to exert more oversight over overseas offerings and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers like us. For example, on July 6, 2021, relevant PRC government authorities promulgated the Opinions on Strictly Cracking Down on Illegal Securities Activities, which emphasized the need to strengthen the administration over “illegal securities activities” and the supervision on overseas listings by China-based companies, and proposed to take effective measures, such as promoting the construction of relevant regulatory systems to deal with the risks and incidents faced by China-based overseas-listed companies, although such opinions did not specify the definition of “illegal securities activities.” Such opinions further provided that the special provisions of the State Council on overseas offerings and listings by those companies limited by shares will be revised and therefore the duties of domestic industry competent authorities and regulatory agencies will be clarified.

As these opinions were newly issued and there are no further explanations or detailed rules and regulations with respect to such opinions, there are still uncertainties regarding the interpretation and implementation of such opinions. In addition, new rules or regulations promulgated in the future could impose additional requirements on us, and it is uncertain how the new rules or regulations will be enacted, interpreted or implemented and how they will affect us. For example, it was reported that the CSRC may issue new rules requiring China-based companies to seek approval before going public outside of China, including in the U.S. Furthermore, on July 10, 2021, the CAC issued a revised draft of the Cybersecurity Review Measures for public comments, according to which, among others, an “operator of critical information infrastructure” or a “data processing operator,” who has personal information of more than one million users and is seeking to list its securities on a foreign stock exchange, must apply to the relevant cybersecurity review office for a cybersecurity review.

On December 24, 2021, the CSRC issued the Provisions of the State Council on the Administration of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies (Draft for Comments) and the Administrative Measures for the Filing of Overseas Securities Offering and Listing by Domestic Companies (Draft for Comments), collectively the Draft Overseas Listing Regulations, for public comments, which require, among others, that PRC domestic companies that seek to offer and list securities in overseas markets, either in direct or indirect means, are required to file the required documents with the CSRC within three working days after its application for overseas listing is submitted. As of the date of this annual report, the Draft Overseas Listing Regulations were released for public comments only and the final version and effective date of such regulations are subject to change with substantial uncertainty.

In addition, on January 4, 2022, the CAC published the Revised Cybersecurity Review Measures, which became effective on February 15, 2022. The Revised Cybersecurity Review Measures provide that a critical information infrastructure operator purchasing network products and services, and platform operators carrying out data processing activities, which affect or may affect national security, shall apply for cybersecurity review and that a platform operator with more than one million users’ personal information aiming to list abroad must apply for cybersecurity review. There are substantial uncertainties as to the interpretation, application, and enforcement of the Revised Cybersecurity Review Measures. Under the Revised Cybersecurity Review Measures, we face potential risks if we are deemed as a “critical information infrastructure operator” or “platform operator” under the PRC cybersecurity laws and regulations, and would be required to follow cybersecurity review procedures. During such review, we may be required to suspend providing any existing or new services to our customers and/or experience other disruptions of our operations, and such review could also result in negative publicity with respect to our Company and diversion of our managerial and financial resources. In addition, we cannot guarantee that new rules or regulations promulgated in the future will not impose any additional requirement on us or otherwise tightening the regulations on companies with a VIE structure.

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If the CSRC or other relevant PRC regulatory agencies subsequently determine that prior approval, filing and/or other administration procedure is required for any of our future offerings of securities overseas or maintenance of the listing status of our ADSs, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to obtain such approval or complete such filing or other administration procedures in a timely manner, or at all. The CSRC or other PRC regulatory agencies also may take actions requiring us, or making it advisable for us, not to proceed with such offering or maintenance of the listing status of our ADSs. If we proceed with any of such offering or maintain the listing status of our ADSs without obtaining the CSRC’s or other PRC regulatory agencies’ approval or completing relevant filing or other administration procedures to the extent it is required, or if we are unable to comply with any new approval requirements which might be adopted for offerings that we have completed prior to the publication of the above-referenced opinions, 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 ability to pay dividends outside of China, limit our operating privileges in China, delay or restrict the repatriation of the proceeds from offering of securities overseas 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.

Furthermore, if there are any other approvals, filings and/or other administration procedures to be obtained from or completed with the CSRC or other PRC regulatory agencies as required by any new laws and regulations for any of our future proposed offering of securities overseas or the listing of the ADSs, we cannot assure you that we can obtain the required approval or complete the required filings or other regulatory procedures in a timely manner, or at all. Any failure to obtain the relevant approvals or complete the filings and other relevant regulatory procedures may subject us to regulatory actions or other sanctions from the CSRC or other PRC regulatory agencies, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. In addition, implementation of industry-wide regulations affecting our operations could cause the value of our securities to significantly decline. Therefore, investors of our company and our business face potential uncertainty from actions taken by the PRC government affecting our business.

Substantial uncertainties exist with respect to the interpretation and implementation of the newly enacted Foreign Investment Law of the PRC and how it may impact the viability of our current corporate structure, corporate governance and business operations.

On March 15, 2019, the National People’s Congress adopted the Foreign Investment Law of the PRC, which became effective on January 1, 2020 and replaced three existing laws regulating foreign investment in China, namely, the Wholly Foreign-Invested Enterprise Law of the PRC, the Sino-Foreign Cooperative Joint Venture Enterprise Law of the PRC and the Sino-Foreign Equity Joint Venture Enterprise Law of the PRC, together with their implementation rules and ancillary regulations. The Foreign Investment Law of the PRC embodies an expected PRC regulatory trend to rationalize its foreign investment regulatory regime in line with prevailing international practice and the legislative efforts to unify the corporate legal requirements for both foreign and domestic investments. However, since it is relatively new, uncertainties still exist in relation to its interpretation and implementation. For example, the Foreign Investment Law of the PRC adds a catch-all clause to the definition of “foreign investment” so that foreign investment, by its definition, includes “investments made by foreign investors in China through other means defined by other laws or administrative regulations or provisions promulgated by the State Council” without further elaboration on the meaning of “other means.” It leaves leeway for the future legislations promulgated by the State Council to provide for contractual arrangements as a form of foreign investment. It is therefore uncertain whether our corporate structure will be seen as violating the foreign investment rules as we are currently leveraging the contractual arrangements to operate certain businesses in which foreign investors are prohibited from or restricted to investing. Furthermore, if future legislations prescribed by the State Council mandate further actions to be taken by companies with respect to existing contractual arrangements, we may face substantial uncertainties as to whether we can complete such actions in a timely manner, or at all. If we fail to take appropriate and timely measures to comply with any of these or similar regulatory compliance requirements, our current corporate structure, corporate governance and business operations could be materially and adversely affected.

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We rely on contractual arrangements with our VIE and its shareholders to operate our business, which may not be as effective as direct ownership in providing operational control and otherwise materially and adversely affect our business.

We rely on contractual arrangements with our VIE, its shareholders, as well as certain of its subsidiaries to operate our business in China. For a description of these contractual arrangements, see “Item 4. Information on the Company—4.C. Organizational Structure—Contractual Arrangements with Beijing Duoke.” These contractual arrangements may not be as effective as direct ownership in providing us with control over our VIE. For example, our VIE and its shareholders could breach their contractual arrangements with us by, among other things, failing to conduct their operations in an acceptable manner or taking other actions that are detrimental to our interests. The revenues contributed by our VIE and its subsidiaries constituted substantially all of our revenues in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

If we had direct ownership of our VIE, we would be able to exercise our rights as a shareholder to effect changes in the board of directors of our VIE, which in turn could implement changes, subject to any applicable fiduciary obligations, at the management and operational level. However, under the contractual arrangements, we expect to rely on the performance by our VIE and its shareholders of their respective obligations under the contracts to exercise control over our VIE. The shareholders of our VIE may not act in the best interests of our company or may not perform their obligations under these contracts. Such risks will exist throughout the period in which we operate our business through the contractual arrangements with our VIE and its shareholders. If any dispute relating to these contracts remains unresolved, we will have to enforce our rights under these contracts through the operations of PRC law and arbitration, litigation or other legal proceedings and therefore will be subject to uncertainties in the PRC legal system. See “—Any failure by our VIE or its shareholders to perform their obligations under our contractual arrangements with them would have a material and adverse effect on our business.” Therefore, our contractual arrangements with our VIE and its shareholders may not be as effective in controlling our business operations as direct ownership.

All the agreements under our contractual arrangements are governed by PRC law and provide for the resolution of disputes through arbitration in China. Accordingly, these contracts would be interpreted in accordance with PRC law, and any disputes would be resolved in accordance with PRC legal procedures.

All the agreements under our contractual arrangements are governed by PRC law and provide for the resolution of disputes through arbitration in China. Accordingly, these contracts would be interpreted in accordance with PRC law and any disputes would be resolved in accordance with PRC legal procedures. The legal system in the PRC is not as developed as in some other jurisdictions, such as the United States. As a result, uncertainties in the PRC legal system could limit our ability to enforce these contractual arrangements. Meanwhile, there are very few precedents and little formal guidance as to how contractual arrangements in the context of a VIE should be interpreted or enforced under PRC law. There remain significant uncertainties regarding the ultimate outcome of such arbitration should legal action become necessary. In addition, under PRC law, rulings by arbitrators are final, parties cannot appeal the arbitration results in courts, and if the losing parties fail to carry out the arbitration awards within a prescribed time limit, the prevailing parties may only enforce the arbitration awards in PRC courts through arbitration award recognition proceedings, which would require additional expenses and delay. In the event we are unable to enforce these contractual arrangements, or if we suffer significant delay or other obstacles in the process of enforcing these contractual arrangements, we may not be able to exert effective control over our VIE, and our ability to conduct our business may be negatively affected. See “—Risks Related to Doing Business in China—Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system, including uncertainties regarding the enforcement of laws, and sudden or unexpected changes in policies, laws and regulations in China, could adversely affect us.”

Contractual arrangements in relation to our VIE may be subject to scrutiny by the PRC tax authorities and they may determine that we or our VIE owe additional taxes, which could negatively affect our financial condition and the value of your investment.

Under applicable PRC laws and regulations, arrangements and transactions among related parties may be subject to audit or challenge by the PRC tax authorities within ten years after the taxable year when the transactions are conducted. We could face material and adverse tax consequences if the PRC tax authorities determine that the contractual arrangements between us and our VIE were not entered into on an arm’s-length basis in such a way as to result in an impermissible reduction in taxes under applicable PRC laws, rules and regulations, and adjust the income of our VIE in the form of a transfer pricing adjustment. A transfer pricing adjustment could, among other things, result in a reduction of expense deductions recorded by our VIE for PRC tax purposes, which could in turn increase its tax liabilities without reducing our PRC subsidiary’s tax expenses. In addition, the PRC tax authorities may impose additional tax liability on our VIE for the adjusted but unpaid taxes according to the applicable regulations. Our financial position could be materially and adversely affected if our VIE’s tax liabilities increase or if it is required to pay late payment fees and other penalties.

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The shareholders of our VIE may have actual or potential conflicts of interest with us, which may materially and adversely affect our business and financial condition.

The shareholders of our VIE may have actual or potential conflicts of interest with us. These shareholders may breach, or cause our VIE to breach, or refuse to renew, the existing contractual arrangements we have with them and our VIE, which would have a material and adverse effect on our ability to effectively control our VIE and receive economic benefits from them. For example, the shareholders may be able to cause our agreements with our VIE to be performed in a manner adverse to us by, among other things, failing to remit payments due under the contractual arrangements to us on a timely basis. We cannot assure you that when conflicts of interest arise any or all of these shareholders will act in the best interests of our company or such conflicts will be resolved in our favor. If we cannot resolve any conflict of interest or dispute between us and these shareholders, we would have to rely on legal proceedings, which could result in disruption of our business and subject us to substantial uncertainty as to the outcome of any such legal proceedings.

We may lose the ability to use, or otherwise benefit from, the licenses, permits and assets held by our VIE.

As part of our contractual arrangements with our VIE, our VIE holds certain assets, licenses and permits that are material to our business operations, including without limitation permits, licenses, domain names and most of our IP rights. The contractual arrangements contain terms that specifically obligate our VIE’s shareholders to ensure the valid existence of our VIE and restrict the disposal of material assets of our VIE. However, in the event that our VIE’s shareholders breach the terms of these contractual arrangements and voluntarily liquidate any of our VIE, or our VIE declares bankruptcy and all or part of its assets become subject to liens or rights of third-party creditors, or are otherwise disposed of or encumbered without our consent, we may be unable to conduct some or all of our business operations or otherwise benefit from the assets held by our VIE, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, under the contractual arrangements, our VIE may not, in any manner, sell, transfer, mortgage or dispose of their material assets or legal or beneficial interests in the business without our prior consent. If our VIE undergoes a voluntary or involuntary liquidation proceeding, its shareholders or unrelated third-party creditors may claim rights to some or all of the assets of our VIE, thereby hindering our ability to operate our business as well as constrain our growth.

Risks Related to Doing Business in China

Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system, including uncertainties regarding the enforcement of laws, and sudden or unexpected changes in policies, laws and regulations in China, could adversely affect us.

The PRC legal system is a civil law system based on written statutes. Unlike the common law system, prior court decisions under the civil law system may be cited for reference but have limited precedential value.

In 1979, the PRC government began to promulgate a comprehensive system of laws and regulations governing economic matters in general. The overall effect of legislation over the past four decades has significantly enhanced the protections afforded to various forms of foreign investments in China. However, China has not developed a fully integrated legal system, and recently enacted laws and regulations may not sufficiently cover all aspects of economic activities in China. In particular, the PRC legal system is based on written statutes and prior court decisions have limited value as precedents. Since these laws and regulations are relatively new and the PRC legal system continues to rapidly evolve, the interpretations of many laws, regulations and rules may not be uniform and enforcement of these laws, regulations and rules involves uncertainties. These uncertainties may affect our judgment on the relevance of legal requirements and our ability to enforce our contractual rights or tort claims. In addition, the regulatory uncertainties may be exploited through unmerited or frivolous legal actions or threats in attempts to extract payments or benefits from us. Furthermore, the PRC legal system is based in part on government policies and internal rules, some of which are not published on a timely basis or at all and may have a retroactive effect. As a result, we may not be aware of our violation of any of these policies and rules until sometime after the violation. In addition, any administrative and court proceedings in China may be protracted, resulting in substantial costs and diversion of resources and management attention.

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The PRC government has significant oversight and discretion over the conduct of our business and may intervene with or influence our operations at any time by adopting new laws and regulations as the government deems appropriate to further regulatory, political and societal goals. The PRC government has recently published new policies that adversely affected certain industries such as the education and internet industries, and we cannot rule out the possibility that it will in the future further release regulations or policies regarding our industry that could further adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, the PRC government has also recently indicated an intent to exert more oversight and control over securities offerings and other capital markets activities that are conducted overseas and foreign investment in China-based companies like us. Any such action, once taken by the PRC government, could significantly limit or completely hinder our ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors and cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or in extreme cases, become worthless.

However, as there are still regulatory uncertainties in this regard, we cannot assure you that we will be able to comply with new laws and regulations in all respects, and we may be ordered to rectify, suspend or terminate any actions or services that are deemed illegal by the regulatory authorities and become subject to material penalties, which may materially harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

In particular, PRC laws and regulations concerning the industries we operate are developing and evolving. Although we have taken measures to comply with the laws and regulations that are applicable to our business operations and avoid conducting any non-compliant activities under the applicable laws and regulations, the PRC governmental authorities may promulgate new laws and regulations regulating the industries we operate in the future. We cannot assure you that our practice would not be deemed to violate any new PRC laws or regulations relating to the industries we operate. Moreover, developments in the industries we operate may lead to changes in PRC laws, regulations and policies or in the interpretation and application of existing laws, regulations and policies that may limit or restrict us, which could materially and adversely affect our business and operations.

Changes in China’s economic, political and social conditions as well as government policies could have a material adverse effect on our business and prospect.

Substantially all of our operations are located in China. Accordingly, our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations may be influenced to a significant degree by political, economic and social conditions in China generally, and by continued economic growth in China as a whole. The Chinese economy differs from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including the amount of government involvement, level of development, growth rate, control of foreign exchange and allocation of resources. Although the Chinese government has implemented measures emphasizing the utilization of market forces for economic reform, the reduction of state ownership of productive assets and the establishment of improved corporate governance in business enterprises, a substantial portion of productive assets in China is still owned by the government.

In addition, the Chinese government continues to play a significant role in regulating industry development by imposing industrial policies. The Chinese government also exercises significant control over China’s economic growth through allocating resources, controlling payment of foreign currency-denominated obligations, setting monetary policy and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies. For example, Beijing Duoke is recognized as “High-New Technology Enterprise” (“HNTE”) and is eligible for a 15% preferential tax rate effective through 2020, 2021, and 2022, upon the completion of its filings with the relevant tax authorities. However, the qualification as an HNTE is subject to annual evaluation and a three-year review by the relevant authorities in China. There can be no assurance that we will enjoy such preferential tax treatment in the future. Without such preferential tax treatment, we may incur more tax expense and our operating results could be adversely affected.

While the Chinese economy has experienced significant growth over the past decades, growth has been uneven, both geographically and among various sectors of the economy. 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 a reduction in demand for our services and adversely affect our competitive position. The Chinese government has implemented various measures to encourage economic growth and guide the allocation of resources. Some of these measures may benefit the overall Chinese economy, but may have a negative effect on us. For example, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected by government control over capital investments or changes in tax regulations. In addition, in the past the Chinese government has implemented certain measures, including interest rate adjustment, to control the pace of economic growth. These measures may cause decreased economic activity in China. Any prolonged slowdown in the Chinese economy may reduce the demand for our services and materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.

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

We are a Cayman Islands company and substantially all of our current operations are conducted in China. In addition, most of our current directors and officers are nationals and residents of countries other than 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.

Shareholder claims that are common in the United States, including securities law class actions and fraud claims, generally are difficult to pursue as a matter of law or practicality in China. For example, in China, there are significant legal and other obstacles to obtaining information needed for shareholder investigations or litigation outside China or otherwise with respect to foreign entities. Although the local authorities in China may establish a regulatory cooperation mechanism with the securities regulatory authorities of another country or region to implement cross-border supervision and administration, such regulatory cooperation with the securities regulatory authorities in the Unities States have not been efficient in the absence of mutual and practical cooperation mechanism. According to Article 177 of the PRC Securities Law which became effective in March 2020, no overseas securities regulator is allowed to directly conduct investigation or evidence collection activities within the territory of the PRC. Accordingly, without the consent of the competent PRC securities regulators and relevant authorities, no organization or individual may provide the documents and materials relating to securities business activities to overseas parties. See also “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.” for risks associated with investing in us as a Cayman Islands company.

The PCAOB is currently unable to inspect our auditor in relation to their audit work performed for our financial statements and the inability of the PCAOB to conduct inspections over our auditor deprives our investors with the benefits of such inspections.

Our auditor, the independent registered public accounting firm that issues the audit report included elsewhere in this annual report, as an auditor of companies that are traded publicly in the United States and a firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), or the PCAOB, is subject to laws in the United States pursuant to which the PCAOB conducts regular inspections to assess its compliance with the applicable professional standards. Since our auditor is located in China, a jurisdiction where the PCAOB has been unable to conduct inspections without the approval of the Chinese authorities, our auditor is not currently inspected by the PCAOB. This lack of the PCAOB inspections in China prevents the PCAOB from fully evaluating audits and quality control procedures of our independent registered public accounting firm. As a result, we and investors in our ordinary shares are deprived of the benefits of such PCAOB inspections. The inability of the PCAOB to conduct inspections of auditors in China makes it more difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of our independent registered public accounting firm’s audit procedures or quality control procedures as compared to auditors outside of China that are subject to the PCAOB inspections, which could cause investors and potential investors in our stock to lose confidence in our audit procedures and reported financial information and the quality of our financial statements.

Our ADSs may be delisted and our ADSs and Class A ordinary shares may be prohibited from trading in the over-the-counter market under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, or the HFCAA, if the PCAOB is unable to inspect or fully investigate auditors located in China. On December 16, 2021, PCAOB issued the HFCAA Determination Report, according to which our auditor is subject to the determinations that the PCAOB is unable to inspect or investigate completely. Under the current law, delisting and prohibition from over-the-counter trading in the U.S. could take place in 2024. If this happens there is no certainty that we will be able to list our ADSs or Class A ordinary shares on a non-U.S. exchange or that a market for our ADSs or Class A ordinary shares will develop outside of the U.S. The delisting of our ADSs, or the threat of their being delisted, may materially and adversely affect the value of your investment.

As part of a continued regulatory focus in the United States on access to audit and other information currently protected by national law, in particular China’s, the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, or the HFCAA has been signed into law on December 18, 2020. The HFCAA states if the SEC determines that we have filed audit reports issued by a registered public accounting firm that has not been subject to inspection for the PCAOB for three consecutive years beginning in 2021, the SEC shall prohibit our Class A ordinary shares or ADSs from being traded on a national securities exchange or in the over-the-counter trading market in the U.S. Accordingly, under the current law this could happen in 2024.

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On December 2, 2021, the SEC adopted final amendments to its rules implementing the HFCAA (the “Final Amendments”). The Final Amendments include requirements to disclose information, including the auditor name and location, the percentage of shares of the issuer owned by governmental entities, whether governmental entities in the applicable foreign jurisdiction with respect to the auditor has a controlling financial interest with respect to the issuer, the name of each official of the Chinese Communist Party who is a member of the board of the issuer, and whether the articles of incorporation of the issuer contains any charter of the Chinese Communist Party. The Final Amendments also establish procedures the SEC will follow in identifying issuers and prohibiting trading by certain issuers under the HFCAA.

On December 16, 2021, PCAOB issued the HFCAA Determination Report, according to which our auditor is subject to the determinations that the PCAOB is unable to inspect or investigate completely. The HFCAA or other efforts to increase U.S. regulatory access to audit information could cause investor uncertainty for affected issuers, including us, and the market price of the ADSs could be adversely affected.

In March 2022, the SEC issued its first “Conclusive list of issuers identified under the HFCAA” indicating that those companies are now formally subject to the delisting provisions if they remain on the list for three consecutive years. We anticipate being added to the list shortly after the filing of this annual report. Additionally, whether the PCAOB will be able to conduct inspections of our auditor before the issuance of our financial statements on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2023, which is due by April 30, 2024, or at all, is subject to substantial uncertainty and depends on factors out of our and our auditor’s control. If our auditor is unable to be inspected in time, we could be delisted from the NASDAQ and our ADSs will not be permitted for trading “over-the-counter” either. Such a delisting would substantially impair your ability to sell or purchase our ADSs when you wish to do so, and the risk and uncertainty associated with delisting would have a negative impact on the price of our ADSs. Also, such a delisting would significantly affect our ability to raise capital on terms acceptable to us, or at all, which would have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, and prospects. If our ADS are delisted from the U.S. Exchange and are prohibited from trading in the over-the-counter market in the U.S. there is no certainty that we will be able to list on a non-U.S. exchange or that a market for our shares will develop outside of the U.S.

The potential enactment of the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act would decrease the number of non-inspection years from three years to two, thus reducing the time period before our ADSs may be prohibited from over-the-counter trading or delisted. If this bill were enacted, our ADS could be delisted from the exchange and prohibited from over-the-counter trading in the U.S. in 2023.

On June 22, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed the Accelerating Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, or the AHFCA Act, which, if enacted into law, would amend the HFCAA and require the SEC to prohibit an issuer’s securities from trading on any U.S. stock exchanges if its auditor is not subject to PCAOB inspections for two consecutive years, instead of three consecutive years as currently enacted in the HFCAA.

On February 4, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the America Competes Act of 2022 which includes the exact same amendments as the bill passed by the Senate. The America Competes Act however includes a broader range of legislation not related to the HFCAA in response to the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act passed by the Senate in 2021. The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate will need to agree on amendments to these respective bills to align the legislation and pass their amended bills before the President can sign into law. It is unclear when the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives will resolve the differences in the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act and the America Competes Act of 2022 bills currently passed, or when the U.S. President will sign on the bill to make the amendment into law, or at all.

In the case that the bill becomes the law, it will reduce the time period before our ADSs could be delisted from the exchange and prohibited from over-the-counter trading in the U.S. from 2024 to 2023.

The custodians or authorized users of our controlling non-tangible assets, including chops and seals, may fail to fulfill their responsibilities, or misappropriate or misuse these assets.

Under the PRC law, legal documents for corporate transactions, including agreements and contracts are executed using the chop or seal of the signing entity or with the signature of a legal representative whose designation is registered and filed with relevant PRC market regulation administrative authorities.

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In order to secure the use of our chops and seals, we have established internal control procedures and rules for using these chops and seals. In any event that the chops and seals are intended to be used, the responsible personnel will submit the application through our office automation system and the application will be verified and approved by authorized employees in accordance with our internal control procedures and rules. In addition, in order to maintain the physical security of our chops, we generally have them stored in secured locations accessible only to authorized employees. Although we monitor such authorized employees, the procedures may not be sufficient to prevent all instances of abuse or negligence. There is a risk that our employees could abuse their authority, for example, by entering into a contract not approved by us or seeking to gain control of one of our subsidiaries or our VIE. If any employee obtains, misuses or misappropriates our chops and seals or other controlling non-tangible assets for whatever reason, we could experience disruption to our normal business operations. We may have to take corporate or legal action, which could involve significant time and resources to resolve and divert management from our operations.

Regulation and censorship of information disseminated over the Internet in China may adversely affect our business and reputation and subject us to liability for information displayed on our platform.

The PRC government has adopted regulations governing Internet access and the distribution of news and other information over the Internet. Under these regulations, Internet content providers and Internet publishers are prohibited from posting or displaying over the Internet content that, among other things, violates PRC laws and regulations, impairs the national dignity of China, or is reactionary, obscene, superstitious, fraudulent or defamatory. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in the revocation of licenses to provide Internet content and other licenses, and the closure of the concerned websites. The website operator may also be held liable for such censored information displayed on or linked to the websites. If our platform is found to be in violation of any such requirements, we may be penalized by relevant authorities, and our operations or reputation could be adversely affected.

We may rely on dividends and other distributions on equity paid by our PRC subsidiaries to fund any cash and financing requirements we may have, and any limitation on the ability of our PRC subsidiaries to make payments to us and any tax we are required to pay could have a material and adverse effect on our ability to conduct our business.

We are a Cayman Islands holding company and, other than external financing, we rely principally on dividends and other distributions on equity from our PRC subsidiaries for our cash requirements, including the funds necessary to pay dividends and other cash distributions to our shareholders and for services of any debt we may incur. Our PRC subsidiaries’ ability to distribute dividends is based upon their distributable earnings. Current PRC regulations permit our PRC subsidiaries to pay dividends to their respective shareholders only out of their accumulated profits, if any, determined in accordance with PRC accounting standards and regulations. In addition, each of our PRC subsidiaries, our VIE and its subsidiaries 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. Each of our PRC subsidiaries is also required to further set aside a portion of its after-tax profits to fund the employee welfare fund, although the amount to be set aside, if any, is determined at its discretion. These reserves are not distributable as cash dividends. If our PRC subsidiaries incur debt on their own behalf in the future, the instruments governing the debt may restrict their ability to pay dividends or make other payments to us. Any limitation on the ability of our PRC subsidiaries to distribute dividends or other payments to their respective shareholders could materially and adversely limit our ability to grow, make investments or acquisitions that could be beneficial to our businesses, pay dividends or otherwise fund and conduct our business.

In response to the persistent capital outflow and the RMB’s depreciation against the U.S. dollar in the fourth quarter of 2016, the People’s Bank of China, or the PBOC, and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, or SAFE, have implemented a series of capital control measures in the subsequent months, including stricter vetting procedures for China-based companies to remit foreign currency for overseas acquisitions, dividend payments and shareholder loan repayments. For instance, the PBOC issued the Circular on Further Clarification of Relevant Matters Relating to Offshore RMB Loans Provided by Domestic Enterprises, or PBOC Circular 306, on November 26, 2016, which provides that offshore RMB loans provided by a domestic enterprise to offshore enterprises with which it has an equity relationship shall not exceed 30% of the domestic enterprise’s most recent audited owner’s equity. PBOC Circular 306 may constrain our PRC subsidiaries’ ability to provide offshore loans to us. The PRC government may continue to strengthen its capital controls and our PRC subsidiaries’ dividends and other distributions may be subjected to tighter scrutiny in the future. In addition, under the Enterprise Income Tax Law of the PRC and related regulations, dividends, interests, rent or royalties paid by a foreign-invested enterprise, such as our PRC subsidiaries, to any of its foreign non-resident non-PRC enterprise investors, and net proceeds from any such foreign enterprise investor’s disposition of shares of the PRC subsidiary, are subject to a 10% withholding tax, unless the foreign enterprise investor qualifies for the benefits of a tax treaty with China that provides for a reduced rate of withholding tax.

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Any limitation on the ability of our PRC subsidiaries 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.

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 our VIE, or to make additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiary.

In utilizing the proceeds of our initial public offering, we, as an offshore holding company, are permitted under PRC laws and regulations to provide funding to our PRC subsidiaries, which are treated as foreign-invested enterprises under PRC laws, through loans or capital contributions. However, loans by us to our PRC subsidiaries to finance their activities cannot exceed statutory limits and must be registered with the local counterpart of SAFE and capital contributions to our PRC subsidiaries are subject to the requirement of making necessary filings in the Foreign Investment Comprehensive Management Information System, and registration with other governmental authorities in China.

SAFE promulgated the Notice of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Reforming the Administration of Foreign Exchange Settlement of Capital of Foreign-invested Enterprises, or Circular 19, effective on June 1, 2015, in replacement of 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, the Notice from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Relevant Issues Concerning Strengthening the Administration of Foreign Exchange Businesses, or Circular 59, and the Circular on Further Clarification and Regulation of the Issues Concerning the Administration of Certain Capital Account Foreign Exchange Businesses, or Circular 45. According to Circular 19, the flow and use of the Renminbi capital converted from foreign currency-denominated registered capital of a foreign-invested company is regulated such that Renminbi capital may not be used for the issuance of Renminbi entrusted loans, the repayment of inter-enterprise loans or the repayment of banks loans that have been transferred to a third party. Although Circular 19 allows Renminbi capital converted from foreign currency-denominated registered capital of a foreign-invested enterprise to be used for equity investments within the PRC, it also reiterates the principle that Renminbi converted from the foreign currency-denominated capital of a foreign-invested company may not be directly or indirectly used for purposes beyond its business scope. Thus, it is unclear whether SAFE will permit such capital to be used for equity investments in the PRC in actual practice. SAFE promulgated the Notice of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Reforming and Standardizing the Foreign Exchange Settlement Management Policy of Capital Account, or Circular 16, effective on June 9, 2016, which reiterates some of the rules set forth in Circular 19, but changes the prohibition against using Renminbi capital converted from foreign currency-denominated registered capital of a foreign-invested company to issue Renminbi entrusted loans to a prohibition against using such capital to issue loans to non-associated enterprises. Violations of SAFE Circular 19 and Circular 16 could result in administrative penalties. Circular 19 and Circular 16 may significantly limit our ability to transfer any foreign currency we hold, including the net proceeds from our initial public offering and follow-on public offering, to our PRC subsidiaries, which may adversely affect our liquidity and our ability to fund and expand our business in the PRC.

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 our VIE and its subsidiaries, each a PRC domestic company. Meanwhile, we are not likely to finance the activities of our VIE and its subsidiaries by means of capital contributions given the restrictions on foreign investment in the businesses that are currently conducted by our VIE and its subsidiaries.

In light of the various requirements imposed by PRC regulations on loans to, and direct investment in, PRC entities by offshore holding companies, 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 to our PRC subsidiaries or our VIE or future capital contributions by us to our PRC subsidiaries. As a result, uncertainties exist as to our ability to provide prompt financial support to our PRC subsidiaries or our VIE and its subsidiaries when needed. If we fail to complete such registrations or obtain such approvals, our ability to use foreign currency, including 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.

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Fluctuations in exchange rates could have a material and adverse effect on our results of operations and the value of your investment.

The value of the Renminbi against the U.S. dollar and other currencies may fluctuate and is affected by, among other things, changes in political and economic conditions in China and by China’s foreign exchange policies. On July 21, 2005, the PRC government changed its decade-old policy of pegging the value of the Renminbi 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 Renminbi has fluctuated against the U.S. dollar, at times significantly and unpredictably. On November 30, 2015, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the regular five-year review of the basket of currencies that make up the Special Drawing Right, or the SDR, and decided that with effect from October 1, 2016, Renminbi is determined to be a freely usable currency and will be included in the SDR basket as a fifth currency, along with the U.S. dollar, the Euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the Renminbi has depreciated significantly in the backdrop of a surging U.S. dollar and persistent capital outflows of China. Moreover, there remains significant international pressure on the PRC government to adopt a more flexible currency policy, which could result in greater fluctuation of the Renminbi against the U.S. dollar. With the development of the foreign exchange market and progress towards interest rate liberalization and Renminbi internationalization, the PRC government may in the future announce further changes to the exchange rate system and we cannot assure you that the Renminbi will not appreciate or depreciate significantly in value against the U.S. dollar in the future. 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.

Significant revaluation of the Renminbi may have a material and adverse effect on your investment. For example, to the extent that we need to convert U.S. dollars we receive from our initial public offering into Renminbi for our operations, appreciation of the Renminbi against the U.S. dollar would have an adverse effect on the Renminbi amount we would receive from the conversion. Conversely, if we decide to convert our Renminbi 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 Renminbi would have a negative effect on the U.S. dollar amount available to us.

Very limited hedging options are available in China to reduce our exposure to exchange rate fluctuations. To date, we have not entered into any hedging transactions in an effort to reduce our exposure to foreign currency exchange risk. While we may decide to enter into hedging transactions in the future, the availability and effectiveness of these hedges may be limited and we may not be able to adequately hedge our exposure or at all. In addition, our currency exchange losses may be magnified by PRC exchange control regulations that restrict our ability to convert Renminbi into foreign currency.

Foreign exchange controls may limit our ability to utilize our revenues effectively and affect the value of your investment.

The PRC government imposes foreign exchange controls on the convertibility of the Renminbi, in certain cases, the remittance of currency out of China. We receive substantially all of our revenues in Renminbi. Under our current corporate structure, our Cayman Islands holding company primarily relies on dividend payments from our PRC subsidiaries to fund any cash and financing requirements we may have. Under existing PRC foreign exchange regulations, payments of current account items, including profit distributions, interest payments and trade and service-related foreign exchange transactions, can be made in foreign currencies without prior approval of SAFE by complying with certain procedural requirements. Specifically, under the existing exchange restrictions, without prior approval of SAFE, cash generated from the operations of our PRC subsidiaries in China may be used to pay dividends to our company. However, approval from or registration with appropriate government authorities is required where Renminbi is to be converted into foreign currency and remitted out of China to pay capital expenses such as the repayment of loans denominated in foreign currencies. As a result, we need to obtain SAFE approval or registration to use cash generated from the operations of our PRC subsidiaries and VIE to pay off their respective debt in a currency other than Renminbi owed to entities outside China, or to make other capital expenditure payments outside China in a currency other than Renminbi. The PRC government may at its discretion restrict access to foreign currencies for current account transactions in the future. If the foreign exchange control system prevents us from obtaining sufficient foreign currencies to satisfy our foreign currency demands, we may not be able to pay dividends in foreign currencies to our shareholders and holders of the ADSs.

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The 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 Rules on Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, or the M&A Rules, adopted by six PRC regulatory agencies in 2006 and amended in 2009, and some other regulations and rules concerning mergers and acquisitions established additional procedures and requirements could make merger and acquisition activities by foreign investors more time consuming and complex, including requirements in some instances that the anti-monopoly law enforcement agency be notified in advance of any change-of-control transaction in which a foreign investor takes control of a PRC domestic enterprise. Moreover, the Anti-Monopoly Law of the PRC requires that the anti-monopoly law enforcement agency be notified in advance of any transaction where the parties’ turnover in the China market and/or global market exceed certain thresholds and the buyer would obtain control of, or decisive influence over, the target as a result of the business combination. As further clarified by the Provisions of the State Council on the Threshold of Filings for Undertaking Concentrations issued by the State Council in 2008 and amended in September 2018, such thresholds include: (i) the total global turnover of all operators participating in the transaction exceeds RMB10 billion in the preceding fiscal year and at least two of these operators each had a turnover of more than RMB400 million within China in the preceding fiscal year, or (ii) the total turnover within China of all the operators participating in the transaction exceeded RMB2 billion in the preceding fiscal year, and at least two of these operators each had a turnover of more than RMB400 million within China in the preceding fiscal year. There are numerous factors the anti-monopoly law enforcement agency considers in determining “control” or “decisive influence,” and, depending on certain criteria, the anti-monopoly law enforcement agency may conduct anti-monopoly review of transactions in respect of which it was notified. In light of the uncertainties relating to the interpretation, implementation and enforcement of the Anti-Monopoly Law of the PRC, we cannot assure you that the anti-monopoly law enforcement agency will not deem our past and future acquisitions or investments to have triggered filing requirement for anti-trust review. If we are found to have violated the Anti-Monopoly Law of the PRC for failing to file the notification of concentration and request for review, we could be subject to a fine of up to RMB500,000, and the parts of the transaction causing the prohibited concentration could be ordered to be unwound, which may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, the Circular of the General Office of the State Council on the Establishment of Security Review System for the Merger and Acquisition of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors that became effective in March 2011, and the Rules on Implementation of Security Review System for the Merger and Acquisition of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors issued by the Ministry of Commerce that became effective in September 2011 specify that mergers and acquisitions by foreign investors that raise “national defense and security” concerns and mergers and acquisitions through which foreign investors may acquire de facto control over domestic enterprises that raise “national security” concerns are subject to strict review by the Ministry of Commerce, and the rules prohibit any activities attempting to bypass a security review, including by structuring the transaction through a proxy or contractual control arrangement. 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 Ministry of Commerce or its local counterparts may delay or inhibit our ability to complete such transactions, which could affect our ability to expand our business or maintain our market share.

PRC regulations relating to the establishment of offshore special purpose companies by PRC residents may subject our PRC resident beneficial owners or our PRC subsidiaries to liability or penalties, limit our ability to inject capital into our PRC subsidiaries, limit our PRC subsidiaries’ ability to increase their registered capital or distribute profits to us, or may otherwise adversely affect us.

SAFE promulgated the Circular on Issues Concerning the Foreign Exchange Administration over the Overseas Investment and Financing and Round-trip Investment by Domestic Residents via Special Purpose Vehicles, or SAFE Circular 37, in July 2014. SAFE Circular 37 requires PRC residents or entities to register with SAFE or its local branches in connection with their establishment or control of an offshore entity established for the purpose of overseas investment or financing with such PRC residents or entities’ legally owned assets or equity interests in domestic enterprises or offshore assets or interests. 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. According to the Circular of Further Simplifying and Improving the Policies of Foreign Exchange Administration Applicable to Direct Investment released in February 2015 by SAFE, local banks will examine and handle foreign exchange registration for overseas direct investment, including the initial foreign exchange registration and amendment registration, under SAFE Circular 37 from June 2015. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—4.B. Business Overview—Regulation—Regulations on Foreign Exchange and Offshore Investment.”

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If our shareholders who are PRC residents or entities do not complete their registration with the local SAFE, the National Development and Reform Commission, or the NDRC, or MOC branches, our PRC subsidiaries 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 subsidiaries. In addition, our shareholders may be required to suspend or stop the investment and complete the registration within a specified time, and may be warned or prosecuted for criminal liability if a crime is constituted. Moreover, failure to comply with the SAFE registration described above could result in liability under PRC laws for evasion of applicable foreign exchange restrictions.

We have notified all PRC residents or entities who directly or indirectly hold shares in our Cayman Islands holding company and who are known to us as being PRC residents or entities to complete the foreign exchange registrations or outbound investment filings. However, we may not be informed of the identities of all the PRC residents or entities holding direct or indirect interest in our company, nor can we compel our beneficial owners to comply with SAFE registration or outbound investment filings 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, obtain or update any applicable registrations or approvals required by SAFE, NDRC or MOC regulations. Failure by such shareholders or beneficial owners to comply with SAFE, NDRC or MOC regulations, or failure by us to amend the foreign exchange registrations of our PRC subsidiaries, could subject us to fines or legal sanctions, restrict our overseas or cross-border investment activities, limit our PRC subsidiaries’ ability to make distributions or pay dividends to us or affect our ownership structure, which could adversely affect our business and prospects.

Furthermore, as these foreign exchange and outbound investment regulations are still relatively new and their interpretation and implementation has been constantly evolving, it is unclear how these regulations, and any future regulation concerning offshore or cross-border transactions, will be interpreted, amended and implemented by the relevant government authorities. For example, we may be subject to a more stringent review and approval process with respect to our foreign exchange activities, such as remittance of dividends and foreign currency denominated borrowings, which may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, if we decide to acquire a PRC domestic company, we cannot assure you that we or the owners of such company, as the case may be, will be able to obtain the necessary approvals or complete the necessary filings and registrations required by the foreign exchange regulations. This may restrict our ability to implement our acquisition strategy and could adversely affect our business and prospects.

Any failure to comply with PRC regulations regarding the registration requirements for employee share incentive plans may subject the PRC plan participants or us to fines and other legal or administrative sanctions.

Pursuant to SAFE Circular 37, PRC residents who participate in share incentive plans in overseas non-publicly-listed companies may submit applications to SAFE or its local branches for the foreign exchange registration with respect to offshore special purpose companies. In the meantime, directors, executive officers and other employees who are PRC citizens or who are non-PRC residents residing in the PRC for a continuous period of not less than one year, subject to limited exceptions, and who have been granted share-based awards, may follow the Circular of the SAFE on Issues Concerning the Administration of Foreign Exchange Used for Domestic Individuals’ Participation in Equity Incentive Plan of Overseas Listed Companies, promulgated by SAFE in 2012. Pursuant to the circular, PRC citizens and non-PRC citizens who reside in China for a continuous period of not less than one year who participate in any stock incentive plan of an overseas publicly listed company, subject to a few exceptions, are required to register with SAFE through a domestic qualified agent, which could be the PRC subsidiaries of such overseas listed company, and complete certain other procedures. In addition, an overseas entrusted institution must be retained to handle matters in connection with the exercise or sale of stock options and the purchase or sale of shares and interests. We, our directors, our executive officers and other employees who are PRC citizens or who reside in the PRC for a continuous period of not less than one year and who have been granted share-based awards are subject to these regulations. Failure to complete the SAFE registrations may subject us to fines, and legal sanctions and may also limit our ability to contribute additional capital into our PRC subsidiaries and limit our PRC subsidiaries’ ability to distribute dividends to us. We also face regulatory uncertainties that could restrict our ability to adopt additional incentive plans for our directors, executive officers and employees under PRC law. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—4.B. Business Overview—Regulation—Regulations on Foreign Exchange and Offshore Investment.”

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The State Administration of Taxation has issued certain circulars concerning employee share options and restricted shares. Under these circulars, our employees working in China who exercise share options or are granted restricted shares will be subject to PRC individual income tax. Our PRC subsidiaries have obligations to file documents related to employee share options or restricted shares with relevant tax authorities and to withhold individual income taxes of those employees who exercise their share options. If our employees fail to pay or we fail to withhold their income taxes according to relevant laws and regulations, we may face sanctions imposed by the tax authorities or other PRC governmental authorities. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—4.B. Business Overview—Regulation—Regulations on Foreign Exchange and Offshore Investment.”

The enforcement of the PRC Labor Contract Law and other labor-related regulations in the PRC may adversely affect our business and results of operations.

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress enacted the Labor Contract Law in 2008, and amended it on December 28, 2012. The Labor Contract Law introduced specific provisions related to fixed-term employment contracts, part-time employment, probationary periods, consultation with labor unions and employee assemblies, employment without a written contract, dismissal of employees, severance, and collective bargaining to enhance previous PRC labor laws. Under the Labor Contract Law, an employer is obligated to sign a non-fixed-term labor contract with any employee who has worked for the employer for ten consecutive years. Further, if an employee requests or agrees to renew a fixed-term labor contract that has already been entered into twice consecutively, the resulting contract, with certain exceptions, must have an unlimited term. With certain exceptions, an employer must pay severance to an employee where a labor contract is terminated or expires. In addition, the PRC governmental authorities have continued to introduce various new labor-related regulations since the effectiveness of the Labor Contract Law.

Under the PRC Social Insurance Law and the Administrative Measures on Housing Fund, employees are required to participate in pension insurance, work-related injury insurance, medical insurance, unemployment insurance, maternity insurance, and housing funds and employers are required, together with their employees or separately, to pay the social insurance premiums and housing funds for their employees. If we fail to make adequate social insurance and housing fund contributions, we may be subject to fines and legal sanctions, and our business, financial conditions and results of operations may be adversely affected.

These laws designed to enhance labor protection tend to increase our labor costs. In addition, as the interpretation and implementation of these regulations are still evolving, our employment practices may not be at all times be deemed in compliance with the regulations. As a result, we could be subject to penalties or incur significant liabilities in connection with labor disputes or investigations.

We may be classified as a “PRC resident enterprise” for PRC enterprise income tax purposes, which could result in unfavorable tax consequences to us and our non-PRC shareholders and ADS holders and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and the value of your investment.

Under the Enterprise Income Tax Law of the PRC and its implementation rules, an enterprise established outside of the PRC with a “de facto management body” within the PRC is considered a “resident enterprise” and will be subject to PRC enterprise income tax on its global income at the rate of 25%. The implementation rules define the term “de facto management body” as the body that exercises full and substantial control over and overall management of the business, personnel, accounts and properties of an enterprise. In April 2009, the State Administration of Taxation issued a circular, known as 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. Although this circular only applies to offshore enterprises controlled by PRC enterprises or PRC enterprise groups, not those controlled by PRC individuals or foreigners like us, the criteria set forth in the circular may reflect the State Administration of Taxation’s general position on how the “de facto management body” test should be applied in determining the tax resident status of all offshore enterprises. According to SAT Circular 82, an offshore incorporated enterprise controlled by a PRC enterprise or a PRC enterprise group will be regarded as a PRC tax resident by virtue of having its “de facto management body” in China and will be subject to PRC enterprise income tax on its global income only if all of the following conditions are met: (i) the primary location of the day-to-day operational management is in the PRC; (ii) decisions relating to the enterprise’s financial and human resource matters are made or are subject to approval by organizations or personnel in the PRC; (iii) the enterprise’s primary assets, accounting books and records, company seals, and board and shareholder resolutions, are located or maintained in the PRC; and (iv) at least 50% of voting board members or senior executives habitually reside in the PRC.

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We believe none of our entities outside of China is a PRC resident enterprise for PRC tax purposes. However, the tax resident status of an enterprise is subject to determination by the PRC tax authorities and uncertainties remain with respect to the interpretation of the term “de facto management body.” As a majority of our management members are based in China, it remains unclear how the tax residency rule will apply to our case. If the PRC tax authorities determine that our company or any of our subsidiaries outside of China is a PRC resident enterprise for enterprise income tax purposes, we may be subject to PRC enterprise income on our worldwide income at the rate of 25%, which could materially reduce our net income. In addition, we will also be subject to PRC enterprise income tax reporting obligations. Furthermore, we may be required to withhold a 10% withholding tax from dividends we pay to our shareholders that are non-resident enterprises, including the holders of the ADSs, if such income is treated as sourced from within the PRC. In addition, non-resident enterprise shareholders (including the ADS holders) may be subject to PRC tax at a rate of 10% on gains realized on the sale or other disposition of ADSs or ordinary shares, if such income is treated as sourced from within the PRC. Furthermore, if we are deemed a PRC resident enterprise, dividends paid to our non-PRC individual shareholders (including the ADS holders) and any gain realized on the transfer of ADSs or ordinary shares by such shareholders may be subject to PRC tax at a rate of 20% (which, in the case of dividends, may be withheld at source by us), if such income is deemed to be from PRC sources. These rates may be reduced by an applicable tax treaty, but it is unclear whether non-PRC shareholders of our company would be able to obtain the benefits of any tax treaties between their country of tax residence and the PRC in the event that we are treated as a PRC resident enterprise. Any such tax may reduce the returns on your investment in the ADSs or ordinary shares.

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

On February 3, 2015, the State Administration of Taxation issued the Circular on Issues of Enterprise Income Tax on Indirect Transfers of Assets by Non-PRC Resident Enterprises, or SAT Circular 7. SAT Circular 7 extends its tax jurisdiction to transactions involving the transfer of taxable assets through offshore transfer of a foreign intermediate holding company. In addition, SAT Circular 7 has introduced safe harbors for internal group restructurings and the purchase and sale of equity securities through a public securities market. SAT Circular 7 also brings challenges to both foreign transferor and transferee (or other person who is obligated to pay for the transfer) of taxable assets.

On October 17, 2017, the State Administration of Taxation issued the Circular on Issues of Tax Withholding regarding Non-PRC Resident Enterprise Income Tax at Source, or SAT Circular 37, which came into effect on December 1, 2017. SAT Circular 37 further clarifies the practice and procedure of the withholding of nonresident enterprise income tax.

Where a nonresident enterprise transfers taxable assets indirectly by disposing of the equity interests of an overseas holding company, which is known as an indirect transfer, the nonresident enterprise as either transferor or transferee, or the PRC entity that directly owns the taxable assets, may report such indirect transfer to the relevant tax authority. 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 enterprise income tax, and the transferee or other person who is obligated to pay for the transfer is obligated to withhold the applicable taxes, currently at a rate of 10% for the transfer of equity interests in a PRC resident enterprise. Both the transferor and the transferee may be subject to penalties under PRC tax laws if the transferee fails to withhold the taxes and the transferor fails to pay the taxes.

We face uncertainties as to the reporting and other implications of certain past and future transactions where PRC taxable assets are involved, such as offshore restructuring, sale of the shares in our offshore subsidiaries and investments. Our company may be subject to filing obligations or taxed if our company is transferor in such transactions, and may be subject to withholding obligations if our company is transferee in such transactions, under SAT Circular 7 or SAT Circular 37. For transfer of shares in our company by investors who are non-PRC resident enterprises, our PRC subsidiaries may be requested to assist in the filing under SAT Circular 7 or SAT Circular 37. As a result, we may be required to expend valuable resources to comply with SAT Circular 7 or SAT Circular 37 or to request the relevant transferors from whom we purchase taxable assets to comply with these circulars, or to establish that our company should not be taxed under these circulars, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

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Proceedings instituted by the SEC against “big four” 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 Exchange Act.

In December 2012, the SEC instituted administrative proceedings against the “big four” PRC-based accounting firms, including our independent registered public accounting firm, alleging that these firms had violated U.S. securities laws and the SEC’s rules and regulations thereunder by failing to provide to the SEC the firms’ audit work papers with respect to certain PRC-based companies that are publicly traded in the United States.

On January 22, 2014, the administrative law judge presiding over the matter rendered an initial decision that each of the firms had violated the SEC’s rules of practice by failing to produce audit papers and other documents to the SEC. The initial decision censured each of the firms and barred them from practicing before the SEC for a period of six months.

On February 6, 2015, the four China-based accounting firms each agreed to a censure and to pay a fine to the SEC to settle the dispute and avoid suspension of their ability to practice before the SEC and audit U.S.-listed companies. The settlement required the firms to follow detailed procedures and to seek to provide the SEC with access to Chinese firms’ audit documents via the CSRC. Under the terms of the settlement, the underlying proceeding against the four China-based accounting firms was deemed dismissed with prejudice four years after entry of the settlement. The four-year mark occurred on February 6, 2019. While we cannot predict if the SEC will further challenge the four China-based accounting firms’ compliance with U.S. law in connection with U.S. regulatory requests for audit work papers or if the results of such a challenge would result in the SEC imposing penalties such as suspensions, if the accounting firms are subject to additional remedial measures, our ability to file our financial statements in compliance with SEC requirements could be impacted. A determination that we have not timely filed financial statements in compliance with the SEC requirements could ultimately lead to the delisting of our ADSs from the Nasdaq or deregistration from the SEC, or both, which would substantially reduce or effectively terminate the trading of the ADSs in the United States.

Risks Related to the ADSs

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

The daily closing trading prices of our ADSs ranged from US$1.05 to US$5.85 per ADS in 2021. The trading price of the ADSs is likely to be volatile and could fluctuate widely due to multiple factors, some of which are beyond our control. This may happen because of broad market and industry factors, including 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. In addition to market and industry factors, the price and trading volume for the ADSs may be highly volatile for factors, including the following:

variations in our revenues, operating costs and expenses, earnings and cash flow;
announcements of new investments, acquisitions, strategic partnerships or joint ventures by us or our competitors;
announcements of new products and services by us or our competitors;
changes in financial estimates by securities analysts;
detrimental adverse publicity about us, our shareholders, affiliates, directors, officers or employees, our content offerings, our business model, our services or our industry;
announcements of new regulations, rules or policies relevant for our business;
additions or departures of key personnel;
allegations of a lack of effective internal control over financial reporting, inadequate corporate governance policies, or allegations of fraud, among other things, involving China-based issuers;
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.

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Any of these factors may result in large and sudden changes in the volume and price at which the 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 to be 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.

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

The trading market for the 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 the ADSs, the market price for the 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 the ADSs to decline.

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

Sales of substantial amounts of the ADSs in the public market, or the perception that these sales could occur, could adversely affect the market price of the ADSs and could materially impair our ability to raise capital through equity offerings in the future. The ADSs representing our Class A ordinary shares sold in our initial public offering are freely transferable by persons other than our “affiliates” without restriction or further registration under the Securities Act. As of March 31, 2022, we had 36,293,870 ADSs (representing 907,346,745 Class A ordinary shares) issued and 35,748,264 ADSs (representing 893,706,595 Class A ordinary shares) outstanding. In addition, ordinary 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. Any or all of these ordinary shares may be released prior to the expiration of the applicable lock-up period at the discretion of the designated representatives. To the extent ordinary shares are released before the expiration of the applicable lock-up period and sold into the market, the market price of the ADSs could decline. 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 the ADSs.

Techniques employed by short sellers may drive down the market price of the ADSs.

Short selling is the practice of selling securities that the seller does not own but rather has borrowed from a third party with the intention of buying identical securities back at a later date to return to the lender. The short seller hopes to profit from a decline in the value of the securities between the sale of the borrowed securities and the purchase of the replacement shares, as the short seller expects to pay less in the purchase than it received in the sale. As it is in the short seller’s interest for the price of the security to decline, many short sellers publish, or arrange for the publication of, negative opinions and allegations regarding the relevant issuer and its business prospects in order to create negative market momentum and generate profits for themselves after selling a security short. These short attacks have, in the past, led to selling of shares in the market. If we were to become the subject of any unfavorable allegations, whether such allegations are proven to be true or untrue, we could have to expend a significant amount of resources to investigate such allegations and/or defend ourselves. While we would strongly defend against any such short seller attacks, we may be constrained in the manner in which we can proceed against the relevant short seller by principles of freedom of speech, applicable state law or issues of commercial confidentiality.

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

The 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 it expedient in connection with the performance of its duties. The depositary may close its books in emergencies, and on weekends and public holidays. The depositary may refuse to deliver, transfer or register transfers of the 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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Because we do not expect to pay cash dividends in the foreseeable future, you must rely on a price appreciation of the ADSs for a return on your investment.

We currently intend to retain most, if not all, of our available funds and any future earnings 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 the ADSs as a source for any future dividend income.

Our board of directors has complete discretion as to whether to distribute dividends, subject to certain requirements of Cayman Islands law. In addition, our shareholders may by ordinary resolution declare a dividend, but no dividend may exceed the amount recommended by our directors. Under Cayman Islands law, a Cayman Islands company may pay a dividend out of either profit or share premium account, provided that in no circumstances may a dividend be paid if this would result in the company being unable to pay its debts as they fall due in the ordinary course of business. 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 our future results of operations and cash flow, our capital requirements and surplus, the amount of distributions, if any, received by us from our subsidiaries, our financial condition, contractual restrictions and other factors deemed relevant by our board of directors. Accordingly, the return on your investment in the ADSs will likely depend entirely upon any future price appreciation of the ADSs. There is no guarantee that the ADSs will appreciate in value or even maintain the price at which you purchased the ADSs. You may not realize a return on your investment in the ADSs and you may even lose your entire investment in the ADSs.

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

Our third amended and restated 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 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 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 the ADSs representing our ordinary shares may fall and the voting and other rights of the holders of our ordinary shares and the 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 incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands. Our corporate affairs are governed by our memorandum and articles of association, the Companies Act (As Revised) of the Cayman Islands, or the Companies Act, and the common law of the Cayman Islands. The rights of shareholders to take action against our directors, actions by our minority shareholders and the fiduciary duties 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 duties 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 have 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 (other than copies of the memorandum and articles of association and the register of mortgages and charges, and any special resolutions passed by these companies) 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.

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As a result of all of the above, our public shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in the face of actions taken by our management, members of the board of directors or controlling shareholders than they would as public shareholders of a company incorporated in the United States.

ADSs holders may not be entitled to a jury trial with respect to claims arising under the deposit agreement, which could result in less favorable outcomes to the plaintiff(s) in any such action.

The deposit agreement governing the ADSs representing our Class A ordinary shares provides that, to the fullest extent permitted by law, ADS holders waive the right to a jury trial for any claim they may have against us or the depositary arising out of or relating to our shares, the ADSs or the deposit agreement, including any claim under the U.S. federal securities laws.

If we or the depositary were to oppose a jury trial based on this waiver, the court would have to determine whether the waiver was enforceable based on the facts and circumstances of the case in accordance with applicable state and federal law. To our knowledge, the enforceability of a contractual pre-dispute jury trial waiver in connection with claims arising under the federal securities laws has not been finally adjudicated by the United States Supreme Court. However, we believe that a contractual pre-dispute jury trial waiver provision is generally enforceable, including under the laws of the State of New York, which govern the deposit agreement, or by a federal or state court in the City of New York, which has non-exclusive jurisdiction over matters arising under the deposit agreement. In determining whether to enforce a contractual pre-dispute jury trial waiver, courts will generally consider whether a party knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waived the right to a jury trial. We believe that this would be the case with respect to the deposit agreement and the ADSs. It is advisable that you consult legal counsel regarding the jury waiver provision before investing in the ADSs.

If you or any other holders or beneficial owners of ADSs bring a claim against us or the depositary in connection with matters arising under the deposit agreement or the ADSs, including claims under federal securities laws, you or such other holder or beneficial owner may not be entitled to a jury trial with respect to such claims, which may have the effect of limiting and discouraging lawsuits against us or the depositary. If a lawsuit is brought against us or the depositary under the deposit agreement, it may be heard only by a judge or justice of the applicable trial court, which would be conducted according to different civil procedures and may result in different outcomes than a trial by jury would have, including outcomes that could be less favorable to the plaintiff(s) in any such action.

Nevertheless, if this jury trial waiver is not permitted by applicable law, an action could proceed under the terms of the deposit agreement with a jury trial. No condition, stipulation or provision of the deposit agreement or the ADSs serves as a waiver by any holder or beneficial owner of ADSs or by us or the depositary of compliance with any substantive provision of the U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.

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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 direct the voting of your Class A ordinary shares underlying the ADSs.

Holders of ADSs do not have the same rights as our registered shareholders. As a holder of the ADSs, you will not have any direct right to attend general meetings of our shareholders or to cast any votes at such meetings. You will only be able to exercise the voting rights which attach to the Class A ordinary shares underlying the ADSs indirectly by giving voting instructions to the depositary in accordance with the provisions of the deposit agreement. Under the deposit agreement, you may vote only by giving voting instructions to the depositary, as holder of the Class A ordinary shares underlying the ADSs. If we ask for your instructions, then upon receipt of your voting instructions, the depositary will try to vote the underlying Class A ordinary shares in accordance with these instructions. If we do not instruct the depositary to ask for your instructions, the depositary may still vote in accordance with instructions you give, but it is not required to do so. You will not be able to directly exercise any right to vote with respect to the underlying Class A ordinary shares unless you withdraw the shares underlying your ADSs and become the registered holder of such shares prior to the record date for the general meeting. When a general meeting is convened, you may not receive sufficient advance notice of the meeting to enable you to withdraw the shares underlying the ADSs and become the registered holder of such shares prior to the record date for the general meeting to allow you to attend the general meeting and to vote directly with respect to any specific matter or resolution to be considered and voted upon at the general meeting. In addition, under our third amended and restated articles of association, for the purposes of determining those shareholders who are entitled to attend and vote at any general meeting, our directors may close our register of members and/or fix in advance a record date for such meeting, and such closure of our register of members or the setting of such a record date may prevent you from withdrawing the Class A ordinary shares underlying the ADSs and becoming the registered holder of such shares prior to the record date, so that you would not be able to attend the general meeting or to vote directly. Where any matter is to be put to a vote at a general meeting, upon our instruction, the depositary will notify you of the upcoming vote and to deliver our voting materials to you. Under our third amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, the minimum notice period required to be given by our company to our registered shareholders for convening a general meeting is fifteen (15) days. We cannot assure you that you will receive the voting material in time to ensure you can direct 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 direct how the shares underlying the ADSs are voted and you may have no legal remedy if the shares underlying the ADSs are not voted as you requested.

Certain of our existing shareholders have substantial influence over our company, and their interests may not be aligned with the interests of our other stockholders.

Dagang Feng, our chief executive officer and the co-chairman of our board of directors, holds approximately 78.9% voting power as of the date of this annual report, including his sole voting power and the shared voting power resulting from an acting-in-concert agreement entered into in September 2019. For more information, see “Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees—F. Share Ownership.” Accordingly, Mr. Feng will have the ability to control the outcome of matters submitted to our shareholders for approval, including decisions regarding mergers, consolidations, liquidations and the sale of all or substantially all of our assets, election of directors and other significant corporate actions. This concentration of ownership may also have the effect of discouraging, delaying or preventing a future change of control, which could deprive our stockholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their shares as part of a sale of our company and might reduce the price of our ADSs. The voting control of Mr. Feng will limit the ability of other shareholders to influence corporate activities and, as a result, we may take actions that shareholders other than Mr. Feng do not view as beneficial. As a shareholder, even a controlling shareholder, Mr. Feng is entitled to exercise his voting power in his own interests, which may not be the same as, or may conflict with, the interests of our other shareholders. Furthermore, because Mr. Feng controls a majority of our voting stock, he may pursue corporate opportunities independent of us.

Our dual-class share structure with different voting rights 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.

We have adopted a dual-class share structure such that our ordinary shares consist of Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares. In respect of matters requiring the votes of shareholders, each Class A ordinary share is entitled to one vote and each Class B ordinary share is entitled to 25 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.

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As of the date of this annual report, Palopo Holding Limited, an entity wholly owned by Dagang Feng, and 36Kr Heros Holding Limited, an entity wholly owned by Chengcheng Liu, beneficially own all of our issued and outstanding Class B ordinary shares. These Class B ordinary shares constituted approximately 9.5% of our total issued and outstanding share capital and 72.3% of the aggregate voting power of our total issued and outstanding share capital.

As a result of this dual-class share structure, the holders of our Class B ordinary shares will have concentrated control over the outcome of matters put to a vote of shareholders and have significant influence over our business, including decisions regarding mergers, consolidations, liquidations and the sale of all or substantially all of our assets, election of directors and other significant corporate actions. The holders of Class B ordinary shares may take actions that are not in the best interest of us or our other shareholders or holders of the ADSs. This concentration of ownership may discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company, which could have the effect of depriving our other shareholders of the opportunity to receive a premium for their shares as part of a sale of our company and may reduce the price of the ADSs. This concentrated control will limit your ability to influence corporate matters and could discourage others from pursuing any potential merger, takeover or other change of control transactions that holders of Class A ordinary shares and ADSs may view as beneficial. In addition, future issuances of Class B ordinary shares may be dilutive to the holders of Class A ordinary shares. As a result, the market price of our Class A ordinary shares could be adversely affected. Furthermore, the conversion of Class B ordinary shares to Class A ordinary shares over time, while increasing the absolute voting power of holders of our Class A ordinary shares, may have the effect of increasing the relative voting power of the holders of Class B ordinary shares who retain their shares in the long term. As a result, the relative voting power of holders of Class A ordinary share may remain limited for a significant period of time.

We are a “controlled company” within the meaning of the Nasdaq Stock Market Rules and, as a result, may rely on exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements that provide protection to shareholders of other companies.

We are a “controlled company” as defined under the Nasdaq Stock Market Rules since Dagang Feng controls a majority of our total voting power as of the date of this annual report. For so long as we remain a controlled company under that definition, we are permitted to elect to rely, and may rely, on certain exemptions from corporate governance rules, such as the requirement that a majority of our board of directors must be independent directors, and the requirement that our board of directors have a compensation committee and nominating and corporate governance committee composed entirely of independent directors.

As a result, you will not have the same protection afforded to shareholders of companies that are subject to these corporate governance requirements.

The difference in the voting rights of our Class A ordinary share and Class B ordinary share may harm the value and liquidity of our Class A ordinary share.

The difference in the voting rights of our Class A ordinary share and Class B ordinary share could harm the value of our Class A ordinary share to the extent that any investor or potential future purchaser of our Class A ordinary share ascribes value to the right of holders of our Class B ordinary share to 25 votes per share. The existence of our dual-class share structure could also result in less liquidity for our Class A ordinary share than if there were only one class of our ordinary share.

Our dual-class share structure may depress the trading price of our Class A ordinary share.

Our dual-class share structure may result in a lower or more volatile market price of our Class A ordinary share or in adverse publicity or other adverse consequences. For example, certain index providers have announced restrictions on including companies with multiple-class share structures in certain of their indexes. S&P Dow Jones and FTSE Russell have announced changes to their eligibility criteria for inclusion of shares of public companies on certain indices, including the S&P 500. These changes exclude companies with multiple classes of shares from being added to these indices. In addition, several shareholder advisory firms have announced their opposition to the use of multiple- class structures. As a result, our dual-class share structure may prevent the inclusion of our Class A ordinary share in these indices and may cause shareholder advisory firms to publish negative commentary about our corporate governance practices or otherwise seek to cause us to change our capital structure. Any such exclusion from indices could result in a less active trading market for our Class A ordinary share. Any actions or publications by shareholder advisory firms critical of our corporate governance practices or capital structure could also adversely affect the value of our Class A ordinary share.

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You may experience dilution of your holdings due to the 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.

As a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands, we are permitted to adopt certain home country practices in relation to corporate governance matters that differ significantly from the Nasdaq corporate governance listing standards. These practices may afford less protection to shareholders than they would enjoy if we complied fully with the Nasdaq corporate governance listing standards.

As a Cayman Islands company listed on the Nasdaq, we are subject to the Nasdaq corporate governance listing standards. However, the Nasdaq rules permit a foreign private issuer like us to follow the corporate governance practices of its home country. Certain corporate governance practices in the Cayman Islands, which is our home country, may differ significantly from the Nasdaq corporate governance listing standards. We have followed and intend to continue to follow Cayman Islands corporate governance practices in lieu of the corporate governance requirements of the Nasdaq that listed companies must have: (i) a majority of independent directors; (ii) the establishment of a nominating/corporate governance committee composed entirely of independent directors; and (iii) a compensation committee composed entirely of independent directors. As a result of our reliance on the “foreign private issuer” or the “controlled company” exemptions, our shareholders may be afforded less protection than they otherwise would enjoy under the Nasdaq corporate governance listing standards applicable to U.S. domestic issuers.

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 U.S. domestic public companies.

Because we qualify as 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 with the SEC of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q or current reports on Form 8-K;
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 rules under Regulation FD governing selective disclosure rules of material nonpublic information.

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 as press releases, distributed pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Nasdaq. 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 that would be made available to you were you investing in a U.S. domestic issuer.

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We incur significant costs as a result of being a public company, particularly after we cease to qualify as an “emerging growth company.”

As a public company, we incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as well as rules subsequently implemented by the SEC and the Nasdaq, impose various requirements on the corporate governance practices of public companies. As a company with less than US$1.07 billion in revenues for our last fiscal year, we qualify as an “emerging growth company” pursuant to the JOBS Act. An emerging growth company 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 in the assessment of the emerging growth company’s internal control over financial reporting. The JOBS Act also permits an emerging growth company to delay adopting new or revised accounting standards until such time as those standards apply to private companies. After we are no longer an “emerging growth company”, we expect to incur significant expenses and devote substantial management effort toward ensuring compliance with the requirements of Section 404 and the other rules and regulations of the SEC.

We expect the rules and regulations applicable to public companies to increase our legal and financial compliance costs and to make some corporate activities more time-consuming and costly. For example, as a public company, we will need to increase the number of independent directors and adopt policies regarding internal controls and disclosure controls and procedures. We also expect that operating as a public company makes it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and we may be required to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. In addition, we incur additional costs associated with our public company reporting requirements. It is also more difficult for us to find qualified persons to serve on our board of directors or as executive officers. We are currently evaluating and monitoring developments with respect to these rules and regulations, and we cannot predict or estimate the amount of additional costs we may incur or the timing of such costs.

Although we believe we were not a passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”) for 2021, due to the substantial fluctuations of our ADSs’ trading prices there is a significant risk that we will be a PFIC for 2022 or future taxable years, which could result in adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to U.S. investors in the ADSs or Class A ordinary shares.

In general, a non-U.S. corporation is a passive foreign investment company, or PFIC, for any taxable year in which (i) 75% or more of its gross income consists of passive income or (ii) 50% or more of the average value of its assets (generally determined on a quarterly basis) consists of assets that produce, or are held for the production of, passive income. For purposes of the above calculations, a non-U.S. corporation that owns (or is treated as owning for U.S. federal income tax purposes) at least 25% by value of the shares of another corporation is treated as if it held its proportionate share of the assets of the other corporation and received directly its proportionate share of the income of the other corporation. Passive income generally includes dividends, interest, rents, royalties and certain gains. Cash is generally a passive asset for these purposes. Goodwill is an active asset to the extent attributable to activities that produce active income.

Based on the composition of our income and assets and the estimated value of our assets, including goodwill, which is based on the average price of our ADSs during 2021, we believe that we were not a PFIC for the taxable year of 2021. However, we hold a substantial amount of cash (relative to the assets shown on our balance sheet) and while that continues to be the case, our PFIC status for any taxable year may depend on the average value of our goodwill. The value of our goodwill may be determined, in large part, by reference to our market capitalization. Because our market capitalization has been volatile and declined substantially in recent months, if the value of our goodwill is determined by reference to our market capitalization, our goodwill and other active assets for 2022 or future taxable years may constitute less than 50% of our total assets. Accordingly, due to our declining market capitalization there is a significant risk that we will be a PFIC for our taxable year of 2022 and possibly future taxable years. Moreover, the extent to which our goodwill should be treated as an active asset is not entirely clear. In addition, we provide financing to customers as part of our advertisement agent services and although our income from this business segment is small, if in the future the proportionate share of this income will grow, our risk of becoming a PFIC will increase. Furthermore, it is not entirely clear how the contractual arrangements between us and our VIE will be treated for purposes of the PFIC rules, and we may be or become a PFIC if our VIE is not treated as owned by us. Our PFIC status for any taxable year is an annual factual determination that can be made only after the end of that year and will depend on the composition of our income and assets and the value of our assets from time to time. For these reasons there is a significant risk that we may be a PFIC for 2022 or future taxable years.

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If we are a PFIC for any taxable year during which a U.S. investor holds ADSs or Class A ordinary shares, certain adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences could apply to such U.S. investor. This will generally continue to be the case even if we cease to be a PFIC in a later taxable year, unless certain elections are made. See “Item 10. Additional Information—10.E. Taxation—Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Passive Foreign Investment Company Rules.”

ITEM 4.INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

4.A.History and Development of the Company

Our Corporate History

Our 36Kr.com website was launched in December 2010, offering New Economy-focused content. In July 2011, Xieli Zhucheng was incorporated in the PRC. In December 2016, Xieli Zhucheng incorporated a wholly-owned subsidiary in the PRC, Beijing Sanshiliuke Culture Media Co., Ltd., or Beijing Sanshiliuke, to host all its businesses of New Economy-focused content and business services. In May 2017, Beijing Sanshiliuke changed its name to Beijing Pinxin Media Culture Co., Ltd., which then changed its name to Beijing Duoke Information Technology Co., Ltd. in March 2019.

We incorporated 36Kr Holdings Inc. in the Cayman Islands on December 3, 2018. On December 4, 2018, the BVI Subsidiary was incorporated under the laws of the British Virgin Islands as 36Kr Holdings Inc.’s wholly-owned subsidiary. On December 20, 2018, the HK Subsidiary was incorporated as the BVI Subsidiary’s wholly-owned subsidiary in Hong Kong. On February 25, 2019, 36Kr Global Holding (HK) Limited, or the 36Kr Global Holding, was incorporated as the HK Subsidiary’s wholly-owned subsidiary in Hong Kong. On May 21, 2019, Tianjin Duoke was incorporated as the HK Subsidiary’s wholly-owned subsidiary in the PRC. On June 25, 2019, Beijing Dake was incorporated as Tianjin Duoke’s wholly-owned subsidiary in the PRC. In September 2019, Lotus Walk Inc. subscribed 51% of the equity interest in 36Kr Global, to jointly explore business opportunities in overseas markets with us. Since then, 36Kr Global Holding became an associate of the Group.

In September 2019, we entered into a series of contractual arrangements through Beijing Dake and Beijing Duoke (our VIE) and its shareholders in order to control our VIE. The VIE conducts substantially all of our operations in China. Our contractual arrangements with our VIE and its shareholders have enabled us to (i) exercise effective control over our VIE, (ii) receive substantially all of the economic benefits and bear the obligation to absorb substantially all of the losses of our VIE, and (iii) have an exclusive option to purchase all or part of the equity interests in our VIE when and to the extent permitted by PRC laws. For more details, including risks associated with the VIE structure, please see “—4.C. Organizational Structure—Contractual Arrangements with Beijing Duoke,” and “Item 3. Key Information—3.D. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure.”

In November 2019, we completed an initial public offering in which we offered and sold an aggregate of 34,500,000 Class A ordinary shares in the form of ADSs. On November 8, 2019, the ADSs began trading on the Nasdaq Global Market, under the symbol “KRKR”.

In March 2022, we acquired 7.273% equity interest in Hangzhou Jialin Information Technology Co., Ltd. (“Hangzhou Jialin”), as one of the investors in its round B financing. Hangzhou Jialin is a fresh produce supply chain solution provider in China. In connection with the transaction, the Company has transferred its 100% equity interest in Beijing Dianqier Creative Interactive Media Culture Co., Ltd. (“Dianqier”), a subsidiary of the Company which primarily provides interactive marketing dispense services, as consideration for the 7.273% equity interest in Hangzhou Jialin.

Our corporate headquarters is located at 5-6/F, Tower A1, Junhao Central Park Plaza, No. 10 South Chaoyang Park Avenue, Chaoyang District, Beijing, People’s Republic of China. Our telephone number at this address is + 86 10-5825-4106. Our registered office in the Cayman Islands is located at Maples Corporate Services Limited, PO Box 309, Ugland House, Grand Cayman, KY1-1104, Cayman Islands. Our agent for service of process in the United States is Cogency Global Inc. located at 10 East 40th Street, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10016. Our principal website is www.36kr.com. The information contained on our website is not a part of this annual report.

The SEC maintains an internet site at www.sec.gov that contains reports, information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.

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Recent Regulatory Development

Revised Cybersecurity Measures

On January 4, 2022, the CAC published the Revised Cybersecurity Review Measures, which became effective on February 15, 2022 and repealed the Cybersecurity Review Measures promulgated on April 13, 2020. The Revised Cybersecurity Review Measures provide that a critical information infrastructure purchasing network products and services, and platform operators carrying out data processing activities, which affect or may affect national security, shall apply for cybersecurity review and that a platform operator with more than one million users’ personal information aiming to list abroad must apply for cybersecurity review.

Under the Revised Cybersecurity Review Measures, we face potential risks if we are deemed as a “critical information infrastructure operator” or “platform operator” under the PRC cybersecurity laws and regulations, and would be required to follow cybersecurity review procedures. During such review, we may be required to suspend providing any existing or new services to our customers and/or experience other disruptions of our operations, and such review could also result in negative publicity with respect to our Company and diversion of our managerial and financial resources. If the CSRC, CAC or other regulatory agencies later require that we obtain their approvals for our future offshore offerings, we may be unable to obtain such approvals in a timely manner, or at all, and such approvals may be rescinded even if obtained. Any such circumstance could significantly limit or completely hinder our ability to continue to offer securities to investors and cause the value of such securities to significantly decline or be worthless. In addition, implementation of industry-wide regulations affecting our operations could limit our ability to attract new customers and/or users and cause the value of our securities to significantly decline. Therefore, investors of our company and our business face potential uncertainty from actions taken by the PRC government affecting our business.

As of the date of this annual report, we have not been involved in any investigations or become subject to a cybersecurity review initiated by the CAC based on the Cybersecurity Review Measures, and we have not received any inquiry, notice, warning, sanctions in such respect or any regulatory objections to our listing status from the CAC.

Potential CSRC Approval Required for the Listing of our ADSs

On July 6, 2021, certain PRC regulatory authorities issued Opinions on Strictly Cracking Down on Illegal Securities Activities. These opinions call for strengthened regulation over illegal securities activities and supervision on overseas listings by China-based companies and propose to take effective measures, such as promoting the development of relevant regulatory systems to deal with the risks and incidents faced by China-based overseas-listed companies. As of the date of this annual report, no official guidance and related implementation rules have been issued in relation to these recently issued opinions and the interpretation and implementation of these opinions remain unclear at this stage. We cannot assure you that we will not be required to obtain the approval of the CSRC or of potentially other regulatory authorities to maintain the listing status of our ADSs on the NASDAQ or to conduct offerings of securities in the future. We have been closely monitoring regulatory developments in China regarding any necessary approvals from the CSRC, the CAC, or other PRC regulatory authorities required for overseas listings. As of the date of this annual report, we have not received any inquiry, notice, warning, sanctions or regulatory objection from the CSRC.

Contractual Arrangements and Corporate Structure

We are a Cayman Islands company and currently conduct substantially all of our business operations in the PRC through Beijing Dake, our subsidiary incorporated in the PRC, and the VIE. Beijing Dake controls Beijing Duoke, our VIE in the PRC, through a series of contractual arrangements. We conduct a significant portion of our businesses in China through Beijing Duoke. It is the VIE that holds our key operating licenses, provides services to our customers, and enters into contracts with our suppliers. We operate our businesses this way because PRC laws and regulations restrict foreign investment in companies that engage in value-added telecommunication services. These contractual arrangements entered into with the VIE allow us to (i) exercise effective control over the VIE, (ii) receive substantially all of the economic benefits of the VIE, and (iii) have an exclusive option to purchase all or part of the equity interests in the VIE when and to the extent permitted by PRC law. These contractual arrangements include the exclusive purchase option agreement, powers of attorney, equity pledge agreement, and exclusive business cooperation agreement. As a result of these contractual arrangements, we exert effective control over, and are considered the primary beneficiary of, the VIE and consolidate its operating results in our financial statements under U.S. GAAP.

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We do not have any equity interests in the VIE who is owned by certain nominee shareholders. As a result, control through these contractual arrangements may be less effective than direct ownership, and we could face heightened risks and costs in enforcing these contractual arrangements, because there are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current and future PRC laws, regulations, and rules relating to the legality and enforceability of these contractual arrangements. If the PRC government finds such agreements to be illegal, we could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish our interests in the VIE.

Material Licenses and Permits

Our PRC subsidiaries and the VIE have obtained all material licenses and approvals required for our operations in China, except as disclosed in “Item 3. Key Information-3.D. Risk Factors- Risk Related to Our Business and Industry- Lack of Internet news information license may expose us to administrative sanctions, which would materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition”, “Item 3. Key Information-3.D. Risk Factors- Risk Related to Our Business and Industry- Lack of Internet audio-visual program transmission license may expose us to administrative sanctions, which would materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.” and “Item 3. Key Information-3.D. Risk Factors- Risk Related to Our Business and Industry- Lack of Internet publishing license may expose us to administrative sanctions, which would materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.” If we or VIE is found to be in violation of any existing or future PRC laws or regulations, or fail to obtain or maintain any of the required permits, approvals or filings, the relevant PRC regulatory authorities would have broad discretion to take action in dealing with such violations or failures. We may be deemed to provide certain services or conduct certain activities and thus be subject to certain licenses, approvals, permits, registrations and filings due to the lack of official interpretations of certain terms under internet related PRC regulations and laws. Failures to obtain or update such license may subject us to fines and other regulatory, civil or criminal liabilities, and we may be ordered by the competent government authorities to suspend relevant operations, which will materially and adversely affect our business operation. In addition, there can be no assurance that we will be able to maintain our existing licenses, approvals, registrations, permits or filings necessary to provide our current online services in China, renew any of them when their current term expires, or update existing licenses or obtain additional licenses, approvals, permits, registrations or filings necessary for our business expansion from time to time. If we fail to do so, our business, financial condition and operational results may be materially and adversely affected. For risks relating to licenses and approvals required for our operations in China, see “Item 3. Key Information—3.D. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Business and Industry.”

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Transfer of Funds and Other Assets

The following diagram summarizes how funds were transferred among 36Kr Holdings Inc., our subsidiaries, and the VIE in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Graphic

Note: (1) Under relevant PRC laws and regulations, we are permitted to remit funds to our VIE through loans rather than capital contributions. In 2019, 2020 and 2021, the loan paid by the PRC subsidiaries to the VIE amounted to RMB87.2 million, RMB35.9 million and RMB25.0 million respectively.

As of December 31, 2021, 36Kr Holdings Inc. had made cumulative capital contributions of US$41.0 million to subsidiaries of the parent company (the “Parent”), which were accounted for as long-term investments of 36Kr Holdings Inc, including US$6.0 million injected through intermediate holding company into 36Kr Global Holding, an associate of the group, and US$35.0 million to the PRC subsidiaries. As of December 31, 2021, the loan balance owed under the VIE agreements was RMB40.0 million (US$6.3 million). In 2019, 2020 and 2021, the VIE transferred nil, nil and nil (US$ nil), respectively, to our PRC subsidiaries as payment or prepayment of service fees. Beijing Dake, our PRC subsidiary, provided the VIE with technical support, consulting services and other services related to the VIE’s business, including business management, daily operations, strategic planning, among others.

As of December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021, the outstanding balance of service fees owed by the VIE to our PRC subsidiaries amounted to RMB17.3 million, RMB50.7 million and RMB76.0 million (US$11.9 million). There were no other assets transferred between VIE and non-VIEs in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

For any amounts owed by the VIE to our PRC subsidiaries under the VIE agreements, unless otherwise required by PRC tax authorities, we are able to settle such amounts without limitations under the current effective PRC laws and regulations, provided that the VIE has sufficient funds to do so. 36Kr Holdings Inc. has not previously declared or paid any cash dividend or dividend in kind, and has no plan to declare or pay any dividends in the near future on our shares or the ADSs representing our ordinary shares. We currently intend to retain most, if not all, of our available funds and any future earnings to operate and expand our business. See “Item 8.—Financial Information—8.A. Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information—Dividend Policy.”

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For the purpose of illustration, the below table reflects the hypothetical taxes that might be required to be paid within China, assuming that: (i) we have taxable earnings, and (ii) we determine to pay a dividend in the future:

    

Taxation Scenario(1) 

 

Statutory Tax and Standard Rates

Hypothetical pre-tax earnings(2)

 

100%

Tax on earnings at statutory rate of 25%

  

-25%

Net earnings available for distribution

 

75%

Withholding tax at standard rate of 10%(3)

  

-7.5%

Net distribution to Parent/Shareholders

 

67.5%

Notes:

(1)The tax calculation has been simplified for the purpose of this example. The hypothetical book pre-tax earnings amount, which does not consider temporary differences, is assumed to equal the taxable income in the PRC.
(2)Under the terms of the VIE agreements, sales service fees are charged by our PRC subsidiaries to the VIE. For all the periods presented, these fees are recognized as cost of revenues of the VIE, with a corresponding amount as service income by our PRC subsidiaries and eliminated in consolidation. For income tax purposes, our PRC subsidiaries and VIE file income taxes on a separate company basis. The fees paid are recognized as a tax deduction by the VIE and as income by our PRC subsidiaries and are tax neutral.

Upon the instance that the VIE reaches a cumulative level of profitability, because our PRC subsidiaries occupy certain copyrights, the agreements will be updated to reflect charges for such copyrights usage on the basis that they will quantify for tax neutral treatment.

(3)China’s Enterprise Income Tax Law imposes a withholding income tax of 10% on dividends distributed by a Foreign Invested Enterprises (“FIE”) to its immediate holding company outside of China. A lower withholding income tax rate of 5% is applied if the FIE’s immediate holding company is registered in Hong Kong or other jurisdictions that have a tax treaty arrangement with China, subject to a qualification review at the time of the distribution. For the purpose of this hypothetical example, this table has been prepared based on a taxation scenario under which the full withholding tax would be applied.

The table above has been prepared under the assumption that all profits of the VIE will be distributed as fees to our PRC subsidiaries under tax neutral contractual arrangements. If in the future, the accumulated earnings of the VIE exceed the fees paid to our PRC subsidiaries, or if the current and contemplated fee structure between the intercompany entities is determined to be non-substantive and disallowed by Chinese tax authorities, we have other tax-planning strategies that can be deployed on a tax neutral basis.

Should all tax planning strategies fail, the VIE could, as a matter of last resort, make a non-deductible transfer to our PRC subsidiaries for the amounts of the stranded cash in the VIE. This would result in the double taxation of earnings: one at the VIE level (for non-deductible expenses) and one at the PRC subsidiary level (for presumptive earnings on the transfer). Such a transfer and the related tax burdens would reduce our after-tax income to approximately 50.6% of the pre-tax income. Our management is of the view that the likelihood that this scenario would happen is remote.

48

Table of Contents

Condensed Consolidating Schedule

The following tables present the summary statements of operations for our Company’s VIE and other entities for the periods presented.

For the year ended December 31,

2019

2020

2021

Primary

Primary 

Primary

Subsidiaries 

Beneficiary 

VIE and its

Eliminating

Consolidated 

Subsidiaries

Beneficiary 

VIE and its 

Eliminating 

Consolidated 

Subsidiaries 

Beneficiary 

VIE and its 

Eliminating 

Consolidated 

    

Parent

    

of the Parent

    

of VIE

    

subsidiaries

    

adjustments

    

totals

    

Parent

    

 of the Parent

    

of VIE

    

subsidiaries

    

adjustments

    

totals

    

Parent

    

of the Parent

    

of VIE

    

subsidiaries

    

adjustments

    

totals

Condensed Consolidating Schedule of Results of Operations

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

Inter-company revenues (Note 1)

 

 

 

16,799

 

 

(16,799)

 

 

 

 

31,535

 

 

(31,535)

 

 

 

962

 

23,820

 

25

 

(24,807)

 

 

Third-party revenues (Note 2)

 

 

365

 

 

655,241

 

 

655,606

 

 

 

 

386,861

 

(97)

 

386,764

 

 

180

 

 

316,632

 

(33)

 

316,779

 

Cost of revenues (Note 1)

 

 

(390)

 

(4,130)

 

(392,569)

 

16,799

 

(380,290)

 

 

 

(10,135)

 

(282,772)

 

31,535

 

(261,372)

 

 

(724)

 

(5,273)

 

(147,654)

 

24,807

 

(128,844)

 

Gross profit

 

 

(25)

 

12,669

 

262,672

 

 

275,316

 

 

 

21,400

 

104,089

 

(97)

 

125,392

 

 

418

 

18,547

 

169,003

 

(33)

 

187,935

 

Operating expenses

 

(2,435)

 

(2,517)

 

(33,364)

 

(259,867)

 

 

(298,183)

 

(9,494)

 

(26)

 

(99,027)

 

(284,163)

 

 

(392,710)

 

(9,551)

 

(18,768)

 

(63,473)

 

(190,249)

 

 

(282,041)

 

Income/(loss) from operations

 

(2,435)

 

(2,542)

 

(20,695)

 

2,805

 

 

(22,867)

 

(9,494)

 

(26)

 

(77,627)

 

(180,074)

 

(97)

 

(267,318)

 

(9,551)

 

(18,350)

 

(44,926)

 

(21,246)

 

(33)

 

(94,106)

 

Other income/(expenses):

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

Share of loss from subsidiaries and VIE (Note 3)

 

(23,797)

 

(24,950)

 

(4,902)

 

 

53,649

 

 

(272,297)

 

(248,592)

 

(171,340)

 

 

692,229

 

 

(80,559)

 

(56,676)

 

(12,923)

 

 

150,158

 

 

Share of loss from equity method investments (Note 2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(23,599)

 

 

 

97

 

(23,502)

 

 

(5,532)

 

 

26

 

33

 

(5,473)

 

Short-term investments income

 

 

 

878

 

3,237

 

 

4,115

 

 

 

443

 

1,416

 

 

1,859

 

 

2

 

715

 

1,768

 

 

2,485

 

Others, net

 

477

 

3,695

 

(10)

 

8,572

 

 

12,734

 

1,560

 

(80)

 

(118)

 

12,021

 

 

13,383

 

539

 

(3)

 

449

 

5,602

 

 

6,587

 

Income/(Loss) before income tax

 

(25,755)

 

(23,797)

 

(24,729)

 

14,614

 

53,649

 

(6,018)

 

(280,231)

 

(272,297)

 

(248,642)

 

(166,637)

 

692,229

 

(275,578)

 

(89,571)

 

(80,559)

 

(56,685)

 

(13,850)

 

150,158

 

(90,507)

 

Income tax (expenses)/credit

 

 

 

(221)

 

(19,672)

 

 

(19,893)

 

 

 

50

 

(3,814)

 

 

(3,764)

 

 

 

9

 

(111)

 

 

(102)

 

Net income/(loss)

 

(25,755)

 

(23,797)

 

(24,950)

 

(5,058)

 

53,649

 

(25,911)

 

(280,231)

 

(272,297)

 

(248,592)

 

(170,451)

 

692,229

 

(279,342)

 

(89,571)

 

(80,559)

 

(56,676)

 

(13,961)

 

150,158

 

(90,609)

 

Note 1: The eliminations are mainly related to inter-company services fee charged among subsidiaries of the Parent, the Primary Beneficiary of VIE and the VIE.

Note 2: The eliminations are mainly related to unrealised gains attributable to transactions between the VIE and an associate of the subsidiaries of the Parent.

Note 3: It represents the eliminations of the investment loss picked up from subsidiaries of the Parent, the Primary Beneficiary of VIE and the VIE and its subsidiaries.

49

Table of Contents

    

For the year ended December 31,

 

2020

2021

 

Primary

Primary 

Subsidiaries 

Beneficiary 

VIE and its

Eliminating

Consolidated 

Subsidiaries

Beneficiary 

VIE and its 

Eliminating 

Consolidated 

Parent

    

of the Parent

    

of VIE

    

subsidiaries

    

adjustments

    

totals

    

Parent

 of the Parent

    

of VIE

    

subsidiaries

    

adjustments

    

totals

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

    

Condensed Consolidating Schedule of Financial Position

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

Cash and cash equivalents

 

48,510

 

706

 

136

 

11,494

 

 

60,846

 

31,833

 

2,416

 

20,669

 

42,047

 

 

96,965

Short‑term investments

 

 

 

26,067

 

122,277

 

 

148,344

 

 

101

 

20,022

 

99,017

 

 

119,140

Accounts receivable, net

 

 

 

 

304,845

 

 

304,845

 

 

175

 

 

179,986

 

 

180,161

Amount due from inter-company entities (Note 4)

 

 

 

199,412

 

16,106

 

(215,518)

 

 

468

 

1,020

 

147,941

 

16,137

 

(165,566)

 

Investments in subsidiaries and VIE (Note 5)

 

351,816

 

336,008

 

123,839

 

 

(811,663)

 

 

285,624

 

287,974

 

110,976

 

 

(684,574)

 

Long-term investments, net

 

 

16,300

 

 

 

 

16,300

 

 

10,466

 

 

30,976

 

 

41,442

Operating lease right-of-use assets, net

 

 

 

 

27,365

 

 

27,365

 

 

 

 

13,818

 

 

13,818

Other assets

 

210

 

(20)

 

1,576

 

19,063

 

 

20,829

 

190

 

6

 

116

 

49,897

 

 

50,209

Total assets

 

400,536

 

352,994

 

351,030

 

501,150

 

(1,027,181)

 

578,529

 

318,115

 

302,158

 

299,724

 

431,878

 

(850,140)

 

501,735

Amount due to inter-company entities (Note 4)

 

14,762

 

1,231

 

133

 

199,392

 

(215,518)

 

 

14,463

 

7,635

 

137

 

143,331

 

(165,566)

 

Accounts payable

 

 

 

 

64,641

 

 

64,641

 

 

197

 

 

56,069

 

 

56,266

Short-term bank loan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5,000

 

 

5,000

Salary and welfare payables

 

 

 

12,831

 

32,749

 

 

45,580

 

361

 

8,646

 

9,150

 

37,631

 

 

55,788

Taxes payable

 

 

(53)

 

1,670

 

17,207

 

 

18,824

 

 

56

 

1,469

 

11,311

 

 

12,836

Deferred revenue

 

 

 

 

18,849

 

 

18,849

 

 

 

 

28,863

 

 

28,863

Operating lease liabilities

 

 

 

 

27,558

 

 

27,558

 

 

 

 

16,888

 

 

16,888

Amount due to related parties

 

 

 

 

548

 

 

548

 

 

 

 

1,328

 

 

1,328

Accrued liabilities and other payables

 

4,953

 

 

388

 

8,219

 

 

13,560

 

3,886

 

 

994

 

12,621

 

 

17,501

Total liabilities

 

19,715

 

1,178

 

15,022

 

369,163

 

(215,518)

 

189,560