Koolearn tech stock rises as livestream goes viral

By Clarence Leong

Chinese company Koolearn Technology Holding Ltd. continued its recent surge and rose as much as 51% on Thursday as investors crowded into live e-commerce.

Shares of the Beijing-based company rose 51% to HK$25.00 in early trading, more than quadrupling from Friday’s closing price of HK$6.23. Shares of its parent, New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc., rose 6.6% to HK$19.06, taking its year-to-date gains to 17%.

Koolearn runs a channel on Chinese social media platform Douyin where tutors-turned-hosts have gained large audiences by speaking both English and Chinese to sell products such as books, rice and cosmetics.

Koolearn’s channel went viral last week and gross merchandise volume hit more than 40 million yuan ($6.0 million) on Tuesday, up from around 22 million yuan the day before, while subscribers to his channel rose to about 3.8 million this week from less than 1 million earlier this month, brokerage firm CSC Financial said in a research note.

The channel, called Dongfang Zhenxuan, has attracted fans with its “cultural foundation and intellectual depth” and benefited from promotional activities ahead of the June 18 shopping festival in China, CSC added. The brokerage has a buy rating on the company.

Earlier this week, analysts at Daiwa Capital Markets maintained an underperforming rating on Koolearn, warning that “it is still too early to assess whether the chain’s popularity is sustainable.”

Write to Clarence Leong at [email protected]

Sallie R. Loera