SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
the fiscal year ended
For the transition period from to
Date of event requiring this shell company report ___________
|(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)|
|(Translation of Registrant’s Name Into English)|
|(Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)|
|(Address of Principal Executive Offices)|
Chief Executive Officer
|People’s Republic of China|
|(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)|
|Title of each class||Trading symbol(s)||Name of each exchange on which registered|
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
|Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act:|
|(Title of Class)|
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:
As of December 31, 2021, there were ordinary shares issued and outstanding, par value $0.001 per ordinary share.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
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.
Note – Checking the box above will not relieve any registrant required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 from their obligations under those Sections.
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.
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).
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. 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 ☐|| Emerging growth company |
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.
by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and 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:
|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).
(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
|TABLE OF CONTENTS|
|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||28|
|ITEM 4A. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS||48|
|ITEM 5. OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS||48|
|ITEM 6. DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES||61|
|ITEM 7. MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS||67|
|ITEM 8. FINANCIAL INFORMATION||68|
|ITEM 9. THE OFFER AND LISTING||68|
|ITEM 10. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION||69|
|ITEM 11. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK||78|
|ITEM 12. DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES OTHER THAN EQUITY SECURITIES||78|
|ITEM 13. DEFAULTS, DIVIDEND ARREARAGES AND DELINQUENCIES||79|
|ITEM 14. MATERIAL MODIFICATIONS TO THE RIGHTS OF SECURITY HOLDERS AND USE OF PROCEEDS||79|
|ITEM 15. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES||79|
|ITEM 16. [RESERVED]||74|
|ITEM 16A. AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT||82|
|ITEM 16B. CODE OF ETHICS||82|
|ITEM 16C. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES||82|
|ITEM 16D. EXEMPTIONS FROM THE LISTING STANDARDS FOR AUDIT COMMITTEES||82|
|ITEM 16E. PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES BY THE ISSUER AND AFFILIATED PURCHASERS||82|
|ITEM 16F. CHANGE IN REGISTRANT’S CERTIFYING ACCOUNTANT||83|
|ITEM 16G. CORPORATE GOVERNANCE||83|
|ITEM 16H. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE||83|
|ITEM 17. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS||84|
|ITEM 18. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS||84|
|ITEM 19. EXHIBITS||84|
|INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS||F-1|
Unless otherwise indicated or the context otherwise requires, references in this annual report on Form 20-F to:
“Blue Hat,” the “Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology and its subsidiaries, its variable interest entities and the subsidiaries of its variable interest entity.
“Blue Hat BVI” refers to Brilliant Hat Limited, a holding company holding all of the outstanding equity of Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology Limited (“Blue Hat HK”) which was established under the laws of the British Virgin Islands in Hong Kong on June 26, 2018.
“Blue Hat Chongqing” refers to Chongqing Lanhui Technology Co. Ltd which was deregistered on December 24, 2020.
“Blue Hat Fujian” refers to Fujian Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology Ltd., which is considered a VIE for accounting purposes.
“Blue Hat HK” refers to Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology Ltd. which was established in Hong Kong on June 26, 2018.
“Blue Hat Hunan” refers to Hunan Engaomei Animation Culture Development Co. Ltd., a PRC limited liability company incorporated on October 19, 2017.
“Blue Hat Pingxiang” refers to Pingxiang Blue Hat Technology Co. Ltd., a PRC limited liability company incorporated on September 10, 2018
“Blue Hat Shenyang” refers to Shenyang Qimengxing Trading Co., Ltd., a PRC limited liability company incorporated on October 19, 2017 and deregistered on October 17, 2021.
“Blue Hat WFOE” refers to Xiamen Duwei Consulting Management Co. Ltd., a PRC limited liability company incorporated on October 19, 2017.
“Fresh Joy” refers to Fresh Joy Entertainment Ltd, a holding company 100% owned by Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology Limited.
“Fujian Blue Hat” refers to Fujian Blue Hat Group CO. Ltd which was established on August 23, 2021.
“Fujian Lanyun” refers to Fujian Lanyun Canghai Technology Co. Ltd., which was incorporated on June 29, 2021.
“Fujian Youth” refers to Fujian Youth Hand in Hand Educational Technology Co. Ltd., a PRC limited liability company incorporated on September 18, 2017.
“Fuzhou CSFC” refers to Fuzhou CSFCTECH Co., Ltd, a PRC limited liability company incorporated on August 5, 2011, which is 51% controlled by Fresh Joy Entertainment Ltd via VIE.
“Fuzhou UC71” refers to Fuzhou UC71 Co. Ltd, a PRC limited liability company 100% controlled by Fresh Joy Entertainment Ltd via VIE.
“Jiuqiao” refers to Xiamen Jiuqiao Technology Co. Ltd., a PRC company which we sold to a third party on December 20, 2021.
“PRC” or “China” refers to the People’s Republic of China, excluding, for the purpose of this annual report, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. “RMB” or “Renminbi” refers to the legal currency of China and “$”, “US$” or “U.S. Dollars” refers to the legal currency of the United States.
“Qiande” refers to Fuzhou Qiande Educational Technology Co., Ltd. which was incorporated on March 24, 2021.
“Renchao Huyu” refers to Renchao Huyu (Shanghai) Culture Development Co. Ltd.
“Xiamen Blue Wave” refers to Xiamen Blue Wave Technology Co. Ltd., a PRC company.
“Xiamen Bluehat Research” refers to Xiamen Bluehat Research Institution of Education Co. Ltd., which was incorporated on February 20, 2021.
“Xunpusen” refers to Xunpusen (Xiamen) Technology Co. Ltd., a PRC limited liability company 60% controlled by Fujian Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology Ltd which was sold to a third party on September 20, 2021.
We have made rounding adjustments to some of the figures included in this annual report. Accordingly, numerical figures shown as totals in some tables may not be an arithmetic aggregation of the figures that preceded them.
Our functional currency is Renminbi, or RMB. Our consolidated financial statements are presented in U.S. dollars. We use U.S. dollars as the reporting currency in our consolidated financial statements and in this annual report. Assets and liabilities denominated in Renminbi are translated into U.S. dollars at the rates of exchange as of the balance sheet date, equity accounts are translated at historical exchange rates, and revenues and expenses are translated using the average rate of exchange in effect during the reporting period. With respect to amounts not recorded in our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report, unless otherwise stated, the average translation rates applied to statement of income accounts for the periods ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 were RMB6.45 and RMB 6.90 to $1.00, respectively. The balance sheet amounts as of December 31, 2021 and 2020 were translated at RMB 6.38 and RMB 6.52, respectively.
This annual report on Form 20-F contains forward-looking statements that reflect our current expectations and views of future events. Known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including those listed under “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors”, may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.
You can identify some of these forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “aim,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “is/are likely to,” “potential,” “continue” or other similar expressions. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. Factors that could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to, the factors summarized below:
We depend upon Blue Hat Fujian, and Fujian Roar Game to conduct our business in China and entered into a series of contracts with each of such entity, pursuant to which each of them is deemed as a variable interest entity under the U.S. GAAP (the “Contractual Arrangements”), which may not be as effective as direct ownership;
We face risks related to health epidemics, severe weather conditions and other outbreaks, in particular, the coronavirus pandemic.
We operate in a highly competitive market and the size and resources of many of our competitors may allow them to compete more effectively than we can, preventing us from achieving profitability;
Issues with products may lead to product liability, personal injury or property damage claims, recalls, withdrawals, replacements of products, or regulatory actions by governmental authorities that could divert resources, affect business operations, decrease sales, increase costs, and put us at a competitive disadvantage, any of which could have a significant adverse effect on our financial condition;
As a developer and seller of consumer products, we are subject to various government regulations and may be subject to additional regulations in the future, violation of which could subject us to sanctions or otherwise harm our business;
If we are not able to adequately protect our proprietary intellectual property and information, and protect against third party claims that we are infringing on their intellectual property rights, our results of operations could be adversely affected; and
Uncertainties with respect to China’s legal system and governmental policies could adversely affect us.
You should read this annual report and the documents that we refer to in this annual report and have filed as exhibits to this annual report completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from what we expect. Other sections of this annual report discuss factors which could adversely impact our business and financial performance. Moreover, we operate in an evolving environment. New risk factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for our management to predict all risk factors, 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.
You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. The forward-looking statements made in this annual report relate only to events or information as of the date on which the statements are made in this annual report. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date on which the statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
ITEM 1. IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS
ITEM 2. OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE
ITEM 3. KEY INFORMATION
A. Selected Financial Data
The following table presents the selected consolidated financial information for our business. You should read the following information in conjunction with Item 5 “Operating and Financial Review and Prospects” below. The following data for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021 and as of December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements for those years, which were prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, or U.S. GAAP, and should be read in conjunction with those statements, which are included in this annual report beginning on page F-1.
|Selected Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:||December 31,||December 31,||December 31,|
|Total current assets||$||21,704,144||$||50,692,085||$||42,717,316|
|Total current liabilities||18,281,724||16,235,797||13,680,028|
|Total shareholders’ equity||17,650,206||58,949,708||44,750,282|
|Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity||$||36,511,577||$||75,691,260||58,815,689|
|Selected Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:|
|For the Years Ended December 31,|
|COST OF REVENUES||(8,672,150||)||(11,179,903||)||(7,531,800||)|
|General and administrative||(32,032,186||)||(2,488,320||)||(4,860,189||)|
|Research and development||(13,169,157||)||(246,923||)||(1,031,204||)|
|Total operating expenses||(67,440,507||)||(3,215,611||)||(6,820,073||)|
|INCOME FROM OPERATIONS||(60,957,583||)||10,204,409||9,482,256|
|OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE)|
|Other finance expenses||(66,233||)||(82,311||)||(4,415||)|
|Other (expense) income, net||(143,763||)||(109,490||)||221,146|
|Total other income, net||(452,921||)||(483,588||)||45,422|
|LOSS/INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES||(61,410,504||)||9,720,821||9,527,678|
|PROVISION FOR INCOME TAXES||(138,061||)||(1,672,957||)||(453,724||)|
|LOSS/INCOME FROM CONTINUING OPERATION||(61,548,565||)||8,047,864||9,073,954|
|Gain on disposal of discontinued operations||1,493,945||—||—|
|Income (loss) from discontinued operations||—||233,153||—|
|NET INCOME (LOSS)||(60,054,620||)||8,281,017||9,073,954|
|OTHER COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS)|
|Net (loss)/ Income from continued operations||(61,548,565||)||8,047,864||9,073,954|
|Foreign currency translation adjustment - continued operation||717,560||3,220,363||(521,738||)|
|COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS) - CONTINUED OPERATION||$||(60,831,005||)||$||11,268,227||$||8,552,216|
|Income from discontinued operation||1,493,945||233,153||—|
|Foreign currency translation adjustment - discontinued operation||—||—||—|
|COMPREHENSIVE INCOME - DISCONTINUED OPERATION||$||1,493,945||$||233,153||$||—|
|COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS)||$||(59,337,060||)||$||11,501,380||$||8,552,216|
|Less: Net (loss) income attributable to non-controlling interests||(2,918,680||)||111,404||—|
|Comprehensive (loss) income attributable to Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment shareholders||(56,418,380||)||11,389,976||8,552,216|
|Earnings per share|
|Basic earnings per share from continued operation||$||(1.16||)||$||0.21||$||0.26|
|Basic earnings per share from discontinued operation||0.03||0.01||—|
|Diluted Earnings per share|
|Diluted earnings per share from continued operation||$||(1.01||)||$||0.20||$||0.26|
|Diluted earnings per share from discontinued operation||0.03||0.01||—|
Reclassification- certain reclassifications have been made to the financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2020 to conform to the presentation for the year ended December 31, 2021, with no effect on previously reported net income (loss).
Selected Consolidated Cash Flow Data:
|For the Years Ended December 31,|
|Net cash (used in) generated from operating activities - continued operation||$||(22,284,750||)||$||5,052,415||$||12,309,246|
Net cash (used in) generated from operating activities -discontinued operation
|Net cash used in investing activities||(4,498,355||)||(10,761,890||)||(19,111,780||)|
|Net cash generated from financing activities||7,574,848||2,493,110||10,596,581|
|EFFECT OF EXCHANGE RATE ON CASH||1,113,717||3,547,033||(144,969||)|
|NET CHANGE IN CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS||(15,617,142||)||321,976||3,649,078|
|Cash paid for income tax||1,529,850||779,459||119,243|
|Cash paid for interest||398,963||439,607||171,938|
|Cash and cash equivalents||135,562||15, 752,704||10,478,587|
|Total cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash shown in the consolidated statements of cash flows||$||135,562||$||15, 752,704||$||15,478,587|
B. Capitalization and Indebtedness
C. Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds
D. Risk Factors
Risks Related to Our Business
Risk Factor Summary
The following summary highlights some of the principal risks that could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. This summary is not complete and the risks summarized below are not the only risks we face. These risks are discussed more fully further below in this section entitled “Risk Factors.” These risks include, but are not limited to, the following:
|●||We have a limited operating history. There is no assurance that our future operations will result in profitable revenues. If we cannot generate sufficient revenues to operate profitably, we may suspend or cease operations.|
|●||We operate in a highly competitive market and the size and resources of many of our competitors may allow them to compete more effectively than we can, preventing us from achieving profitability.|
|●||Our business depends significantly on our ability to maintain an efficient distribution network for our products and our failure to do so could adversely affect our financial condition, competitiveness and growth prospects.|
|●||Our business is seasonal and therefore our annual operating results will depend, in large part, on our sales during the relatively brief holiday shopping season.|
|●||We will need to expand our organization, and we may experience difficulties in managing this growth.|
|●||Failure to adequately contribute to employee benefits plans required by PRC regulations.|
|●||We depend upon the Contractual Arrangements in conducting our business in China, which may not be as effective as direct ownership.|
|●||We may not be able to consolidate the financial results of some of our affiliated companies or such consolidation could materially adversely affect our operating results and financial condition.|
|●||Contractual arrangements in relation to our VIEs may be subject to scrutiny by the PRC tax authorities and they may determine that we or our VIEs owe additional taxes.|
|●||We conduct most of our business through Blue Hat Fujian and Fujian Roar Game Technology Co., Ltd. (“Fujian Roar Game”) (collectively, “VIEs”) by means of Contractual Arrangements. If the PRC courts or administrative authorities determine that these contractual arrangements do not comply with applicable regulations, we could be subject to severe penalties.|
|●||The shareholders of our VIEs may have actual or potential conflicts of interest with us.|
|●||Our current corporate structure and business operations may be affected by the Foreign Investment Law.|
|●||We face risks related to health epidemics, severe weather conditions and other outbreaks, including COVID-19.|
|●||We may not be able to adequately protect our proprietary intellectual property and information, and protect against third party claims that we are infringing on their intellectual property rights.|
|●||We may be unable to adequately protect our intellectual property rights, or we may be accused of infringing on the intellectual property rights of others.|
|●||Litigation or other proceedings or third party claims of intellectual property infringement could require us to spend significant time and money and could prevent us from selling our products or affect our stock price.|
|●||Third parties may assert that our employees or consultants have wrongfully used or disclosed confidential information or misappropriated trade secrets.|
|●||Changes in China’s economic, political or legal system or social conditions or government policies could have a material adverse effect on our business and operations.|
|●||The economy of China had experienced unprecedented growth. This growth has slowed in the recent years, and if the growth of the economy continues to slow or if the economy contracts, our financial condition may be materially and adversely affected.|
|●||Compliance with China’s new Data Security Law, Measures on Cybersecurity Review (revised draft for public consultation), Personal Information Protection Law (second draft for consultation), regulations and guidelines relating to the multi-level protection scheme and any other future laws and regulations may entail significant expenses and could materially affect our business.|
|●||Recent greater oversight by the CAC over data security, particularly for companies seeking to list on a foreign exchange, could adversely impact our business.|
|●||You may experience difficulties in effecting service of legal process, enforcing foreign judgments or bringing actions in China against us or our management named in the annual report based on foreign laws.|
|●||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 could have a material and adverse effect on our ability to conduct our business.|
|●||Fluctuations in exchange rates could have a material and adverse effect on our operations|
|●||Governmental control of currency conversion may limit our ability to utilize our net revenues effectively.|
|●||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.|
|●||Failure to comply with PRC regulations regarding the registration requirements for employee equity incentive plans may subject our PRC citizen employees or us to fines and other legal or administrative sanctions.|
|●||PRC regulation of loans to and direct investment in PRC entities by offshore holding companies and governmental control of currency conversion may delay us from using the proceeds of offerings from the U.S. to make loans or additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiaries, which could materially and adversely affect our liquidity and our ability to fund and expand our business.|
|●||We face uncertainty with respect to indirect transfers of equity interests in PRC resident enterprises by their non-PRC holding companies.|
|●||Our use of third party manufacturers to produce our products presents risks to our business.|
|●||Our auditor, Audit Alliance LLP is headquartered in Singapore, and is subject to inspection by the PCAOB on a regular basis. To the extent that our independent registered public accounting firm’s audit documentation related to their audit reports for our company become located in China, the PCAOB may not be able inspect such audit documentation and, as such, you may be deprived of the benefits of such inspection and our ordinary shares could be delisted from the stock exchange pursuant to the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act.|
|●||An active trading market for our ordinary shares may not be sustained.|
|●||Our ordinary shares are considered to be penny stock.|
|●||Our disclosure controls and procedures may not prevent or detect all errors or acts of fraud.|
|●||We have identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting.|
|Because we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our capital stock in the foreseeable future, capital appreciation, if any, will be your sole source of gain.|
|●||Securities analysts may not publish favorable research or reports about our business or may publish no information at all, which could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline.|
|●||Recently introduced economic substance legislation of the Cayman Islands may impact us and our operations.|
|●||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.|
|●||Certain judgments obtained against us by our shareholders may not be enforceable.|
An investment in our ordinary shares involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the following information about these risks, together with the other information appearing elsewhere in this annual report, before deciding to invest in our ordinary shares. The occurrence of any of the following risks could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and future growth prospects. In these circumstances, the market price of our ordinary shares could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment.
We have a limited operating history. There is no assurance that our future operations will result in profitable revenues. If we cannot generate sufficient revenues to operate profitably, we may suspend or cease operations.
Given our limited operating history, there can be no assurance that we can build our business such that we can earn a significant profit or any profit at all. The future of our business will depend upon our ability to obtain and retain customers and when needed, obtain sufficient financing and support from creditors, while we strive to achieve and maintain profitable operations. The likelihood of success must be considered in light of the problems, expenses, difficulties, complications and delays encountered in connection with the operations that we undertake. There is no history upon which to base any assumption that our business will prove to be successful, and there is significant risk that we will not be able to generate the sales volumes and revenues necessary to achieve profitable operations. To the extent that we cannot achieve our plans and generate revenues which exceed expenses on a consistent basis, our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects will be materially adversely affected.
Our management team has limited public company experience. Prior to our initial public offering, we had never operated as a public company in the United States and several of our senior management positions are currently held by employees who have been with us for a short period of time. Our entire management team, as well as other company personnel, will need to devote substantial time to compliance, and may not effectively or efficiently manage our transition into a public company. If we are unable to effectively comply with the regulations applicable to public companies or if we are unable to produce accurate and timely financial statements, which may result in material misstatements in our financial statements or possible restatement of financial results, our stock price may be materially adversely affected, and we may be unable to maintain compliance with the listing requirements of Nasdaq. Any such failures could also result in litigation or regulatory actions by the SEC or other regulatory authorities, loss of investor confidence, delisting of our securities, harm to our reputation and diversion of financial and management resources from the operation of our business, any of which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects. Additionally, the failure of a key employee to perform in his or her current position could result in our inability to continue to grow our business or to implement our business strategy.
We operate in a highly competitive market and the size and resources of many of our competitors may allow them to compete more effectively than we can, preventing us from achieving profitability.
The market for animated toys is highly competitive, particular in China, where our operations are located. Competition may result in pricing pressures, reduced profit margins or lost market share, or a failure to grow our market share, any of which could substantially harm the business and results of operations. We compete directly against manufacturers of games and toys, including large, diversified entertainment companies with substantial market share. In addition, we compete with other companies who are focused on building their brands across multiple product and consumer categories. Across our business, we face competitors who are constantly monitoring and attempting to anticipate consumer tastes and trends, seeking ideas which will appeal to consumers and introducing new products that compete with our products for consumer acceptance and purchase. Many of our competitors have significant competitive advantages, including longer operating histories, larger and broader customer bases, less-costly production, more established relationships with a broader set of suppliers, greater brand recognition and greater financial, research and development, marketing, distribution and other resources than we do.
In addition to existing competitors, the barriers to entry for new participants in the entertainment industry and in the consumer products industry are low, and the increasing importance of digital media, and the heightened connection between digital media and consumer interest, have further increased the ability for new participants to enter our markets, and has broadened the array of companies we may compete with. New participants with a popular product idea or entertainment property can gain access to consumers and become a significant source of competition for our products in a very short period of time. These existing and new competitors may be able to respond more rapidly than us to changes in consumer preferences. Our competitors’ products may achieve greater market acceptance than our products and potentially reduce demand for our products, lower our revenues and lower our profitability.
Our business depends significantly on our ability to maintain an efficient distribution network for our products. Failure by us to maintain such distribution network could adversely affect our financial condition, competitiveness and growth prospects.
Our success depends on our ability to maintain efficient distribution methods for our products. We primarily sell our products in China through local China-based distributors. In 2021, we primarily relied on five Chinese distributors for the sale of our products, which accounted for 52% of our total revenue. In 2021, 100% of our products were sold in China and, of these sales in China, approximately 99% were generated from Chinese distributors.
The impact of economic conditions on any of our distributors, such as bankruptcy, could result in sales channel disruption. In the event our distributors fail to sell our products in sufficient amounts, such failure could have a material adverse effect on our revenue. We intend to expand our distribution network; however, we cannot make any assurances that we will be successful in doing so or if such relationships will be on favorable terms. Moreover, the functioning of our products distribution could be disrupted for reasons either within or beyond our control, including: extremes of weather or longer-term climatic changes; accidental damage; disruption to the supply of material or services; product quality and safety issues; systems failure; workforce actions; or environmental contamination. Such disruption or failures may materially adversely affect our ability to sell products and therefore materially adversely affect our financial condition, competitiveness and growth prospects.
Our business depends in large part on the success of our vendors and outsourcers, and our brand and reputation may be harmed by actions taken by third parties that are outside of our control. In addition, any material failure, inadequacy, or interruption resulting from such vendors or outsourcings could harm our ability to effectively operate our business.
We rely on vendor and outsourcing relationships with third parties for services and systems including manufacturing, transportation and logistics. Any shortcoming of a vendor or outsourcer, particularly an issue affecting the quality of these services or systems, may be attributed by customers to us, thus damaging our reputation and brand value, and potentially affecting our results of operations. In addition, problems with transitioning these services and systems to or operating failures with these vendors and outsourcers could cause delays in product sales, and reduce efficiency of our operations, and significant capital investments could be required to remediate the problem.
Issues with products may lead to product liability, personal injury or property damage claims, recalls, withdrawals, replacements of products, or regulatory actions by governmental authorities that could divert resources, affect business operations, decrease sales, increase costs, and put us at a competitive disadvantage, any of which could have a significant adverse effect on our financial condition.
We may experience issues with products that may lead to product liability, personal injury or property damage claims, recalls, withdrawals, replacements of products, or regulatory actions by governmental authorities. Any of these activities could result in increased governmental scrutiny, harm to our reputation, reduced demand by consumers for products, decreased willingness by retailer customers to purchase or provide marketing support for those products, adverse impacts on our ability to enter into licensing agreements for products on competitive terms, absence or increased cost of insurance, or additional safety and testing requirements. Such results could divert development and management resources, adversely affect our business operations, decrease sales, increase legal fees and other costs, and put us at a competitive disadvantage compared to other companies not affected by similar issues with products, any of which could have a significant adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Our business is seasonal and therefore our annual operating results will depend, in large part, on our sales during the relatively brief holiday shopping season.
Sales of our toys are seasonal, with a majority of sales occurring during the period from August through December in anticipation of the holiday season. This seasonality in our industry has increased over time, as retailers become more efficient in their control of inventory levels through quick response inventory management techniques. The majority of retail sales of toys generally occur in the fourth quarter, close to the holiday season.
If we or our customers determine that one of our products is more popular at retail than was originally anticipated, there may not be sufficient time to produce enough additional products to fully meet consumer demand. Additionally, the logistics of supplying more and more product within shorter time periods increase the risk that we, or our third party providers, will fail to achieve tight and compressed shipping schedules, which also may reduce our sales and harm our financial performance. This seasonal pattern requires accurate forecasting of demand for products during the holiday season in order to avoid losing potential sales of popular products or producing excess inventory of products that are less popular with consumers. Our failure to accurately predict and respond to consumer demand, resulting in our under producing popular items and/or overproducing less popular items, would reduce our total sales and harm our results of operations. In addition, as a result of the seasonal nature of our business, we would be significantly and adversely affected, in a manner disproportionate to the impact on a company with sales spread more evenly throughout the year, by unforeseen events such as a terrorist attack or economic shock that harm the retail environment or consumer buying patterns during our key selling season, or by events such as strikes or port delays that interfere with the shipment of goods during the critical months leading up to the holiday shopping season.
Our future success depends on our ability to retain key executives and to attract, retain and motivate qualified personnel.
We are highly dependent on the principal members of our executive team listed in the section entitled “Directors, Senior Management and Employees” located elsewhere in this annual report, the loss of whose services may adversely impact the achievement of our objectives. Recruiting and retaining other qualified employees for our business, including scientific and technical personnel, will also be critical to our success. Competition for skilled personnel is intense and the turnover rate can be high. We may not be able to attract and retain personnel on acceptable terms given the competition among numerous companies for individuals with similar skill sets. The inability to recruit or loss of the services of any executive or key employee could adversely affect our business.
We will need to expand our organization, and we may experience difficulties in managing this growth, which could disrupt our operations.
As of December 31, 2021, we had 80 employees, all of which were full-time employees. As our company matures, we expect to expand our employee base to increase our sales and marketing department. Future growth would impose significant additional responsibilities on our management, including the need to identify, recruit, maintain, motivate and integrate additional employees, consultants and contractors. Also, our management may need to divert a disproportionate amount of its attention away from our day-to-day activities and devote a substantial amount of time to managing these growth activities. We may not be able to effectively manage the expansion of our operations, which may result in weaknesses in our infrastructure, give rise to operational mistakes, loss of business opportunities, loss of employees and reduced productivity among remaining employees. Future growth could require significant capital expenditures and may divert financial resources from other projects, such as the development of our existing or future product candidates. If our management is unable to effectively manage our growth, our expenses may increase more than expected, our ability to generate and grow revenue could be reduced, and we may not be able to implement our business strategy. Our future financial performance and our ability to commercialize our product candidates, if approved, and compete effectively will depend, in part, on our ability to effectively manage any future growth.
Failure to make adequate contributions to various employee benefits plans as required by PRC regulations may subject us to penalties.
Companies operating in China are required to participate in various government sponsored employee benefit plans, including certain social insurance, housing funds and other welfare-oriented payment obligations, and contribute to the plans in amounts equal to certain percentages of salaries, including bonuses and allowances, of employees up to a maximum amount specified by the local government from time to time at locations where they operate their businesses. The requirement of employee benefit plans has not been implemented consistently by the local governments in China given the different levels of economic development in different locations. If we fail to make contributions to various employee benefit plans and to comply with applicable PRC labor-related laws in the future, we may be subject to late payment penalties. We may be required to make up the contributions for these plans as well as to pay late fees and fines. If we are subject to late fees or fines in relation to the underpaid employee benefits, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.
Risks Relating to Our Corporate Structure
We depend upon the Contractual Arrangements in conducting our business in China, which may not be as effective as direct ownership.
Our affiliation with VIEs are managed through contractual arrangements, or the Contractual Arrangements, which may not be as effective in providing us with control over VIEs as direct ownership. The Contractual Arrangements are governed by and would be interpreted in accordance with the laws of the People’s Republic of China, or the PRC. If our VIEs fail to perform the obligations under the Contractual Arrangements, we may have to rely on legal remedies under the laws of the PRC, including seeking specific performance or injunctive relief, and claiming damages. There is a risk that we may be unable to obtain any of these remedies. The legal environment in the PRC is not as developed as in other jurisdictions. As a result, uncertainties in the PRC legal system could limit our ability to enforce the Contractual Arrangements, or could affect the validity of the Contractual Arrangements.
We may not be able to consolidate the financial results of some of our affiliated companies or such consolidation could materially adversely affect our operating results and financial condition.
Most of our business are conducted through Blue Hat Fujian, and Fujian Roar Game, which are considered VIEs for accounting purposes, and we, through Blue Hat WFOE, and Fresh Joy Entertainment Ltd. (“Fresh Joy”), are considered the primary beneficiary, thus enabling us to consolidate our financial results in our consolidated financial statements. In the event that in the future the companies we hold as VIEs no longer meet the definition of VIEs under applicable accounting rules, or we are not deemed to be the primary beneficiary, we would not be able to consolidate line by line those entities’ financial results in our consolidated financial statements for reporting purposes. Also, if in the future other affiliate companies become VIEs and we become the primary beneficiary, we would be required to consolidate those entities’ financial results in our consolidated financial statements for accounting purposes. If such entities’ financial results were negative, this would have a corresponding negative impact on our operating results for reporting purposes.
Contractual arrangements in relation to our VIEs may be subject to scrutiny by the PRC tax authorities and they may determine that we or our VIEs 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 VIEs contractual arrangements 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 VIEs 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 VIEs for PRC tax purposes, which could in turn increase its tax liabilities without reducing our subsidiaries’ tax expenses. In addition, the PRC tax authorities may impose late payment fees and other penalties on our VIEs for the adjusted but unpaid taxes according to the applicable regulations. Our financial position could be materially and adversely affected if our VIEs’ tax liabilities increase or if it is required to pay late payment fees and other penalties.
Most of our business is conducted by means of Contractual Arrangements. If the PRC courts or administrative authorities determine that these contractual arrangements do not comply with applicable regulations, we could be subject to severe penalties and our business could be adversely affected. In addition, changes in such PRC laws and regulations may materially and adversely affect our business.
We are a holding company and most of our business operations are conducted via our VIEs through the Contractual Arrangements. There are uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of PRC laws, rules and regulations, including the laws, rules and regulations governing the validity and enforcement of the contractual arrangements between Blue Hat WFOE and Blue Hat Fujian, between Fresh Joy and Fujian Roar Game. based on management’s understanding of the current PRC laws, rules and regulations, that (i) the structure for operating our business in China (including our corporate structure and contractual arrangements with VIEs and their shareholders) will not result in any violation of PRC laws or regulations currently in effect; and (ii) the contractual arrangements among Blue Hat WFOE, Blue Hat Fujian and its shareholders, among Fresh Joy, Fujian Roar Game and its shareholders, governed by PRC law are valid, binding and enforceable, and will not result in any violation of PRC laws or regulations currently in effect. While we are currently not aware of any event or reason that may cause the Contractual Arrangements to terminate, we cannot assure you that such an event or reason will not occur in the future. There are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current or future PRC laws and regulations concerning foreign investment in the PRC, and their application to and effect on the legality, binding effect and enforceability of the contractual arrangements. In particular, we cannot rule out the possibility that PRC regulatory authorities, courts or arbitral tribunals may in the future adopt a different or contrary interpretation or take a view that is inconsistent with the opinion of our PRC legal counsel. In the event that the Contractual Arrangements are terminated, this would have a severe and detrimental effect on our continuing business viability under our current corporate structure, which, in turn, may affect the value of your investment.
If any of our PRC entities or their ownership structure or the Contractual Arrangements are determined to be in violation of any existing or future PRC laws, rules or regulations, or any of our PRC entities fail to obtain or maintain any of the required governmental permits or approvals, the relevant PRC regulatory authorities would have broad discretion in dealing with such violations, including:
|●||revoking the business and operating licenses;|
|●||discontinuing or restricting the operations;|
|●||imposing conditions or requirements with which the PRC entities may not be able to comply;|
|●||requiring us and our PRC entities to restructure the relevant ownership structure or operations;|
|●||restricting or prohibiting our use of proceeds from our initial public offering to finance our business and operations in China; or|
The imposition of any of these penalties would severely disrupt our ability to conduct business and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
The shareholders of our VIEs 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 VIEs may have actual or potential conflicts of interest with us. These shareholders may refuse to sign or breach, or cause our VIEs to breach, or refuse to renew, the existing contractual arrangements we have with them and our VIEs, which would have a material and adverse effect on our ability to effectively control our VIEs and receive economic benefits from it. For example, the shareholders may be able to cause our agreements with our VIEs 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. Currently, we do not have any arrangements to address potential conflicts of interest between these shareholders and our company. 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.
Our current corporate structure and business operations may be affected by the newly enacted Foreign Investment Law.
On March 15, 2019, the National People’s Congress, or the NPC, approved the Foreign Investment Law, which took effect on January 1, 2020. Since it is relatively new, uncertainties exist in relation to its interpretation and its implementation rules that are yet to be issued. The Foreign Investment Law does not explicitly classify whether variable interest entities that are controlled through contractual arrangements would be deemed as foreign-invested enterprises if they are ultimately “controlled” by foreign investors. However, it has a catch-all provision under definition of “foreign investment” that includes investments made by foreign investors in China through other means as provided by laws, administrative regulations or the State Council. Therefore, it still leaves leeway for future laws, administrative regulations or provisions of the State Council to provide for contractual arrangements as a form of foreign investment. Therefore, there can be no assurance that our control over our VIEs through contractual arrangements will not be deemed as foreign investment in the future.
On December 28, 2020, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce publicly released the Directory of Industries to Encourage Foreign Investment (Encouraged Catalogue) (2020 Edition). On December 27, 2021, the National Development and Reform Commission of China (“NDRC”) and the Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) jointly issued the Special Administrative Measures for Foreign Investment Access (Negative List) (2021 Edition), and the Special Administrative Measures for Foreign Investment Access in Pilot Free Trade Zones (Negative List) (2021 Edition), effective January 1, 2022. Industries listed in the 2021 Negative List are subject to special management measures. For example, establishment of wholly foreign-owned enterprises is generally allowed in industries outside of the 2021 Negative List. Also, foreign investors are not allowed to invest in industries that are expressly prohibited in the 2021 Negative List. The industries that are not expressly prohibited in the Negative List are still subject to government approvals and certain special requirements.
The Foreign Investment Law provides that foreign-invested entities operating in “restricted” or “prohibited” industries will require market entry clearance and other approvals from relevant PRC government authorities. Currently our business does not fall in any of these categories. Currently our business does not fall in any of these categories. However, if our control over our VIEs through contractual arrangements are deemed as foreign investment in the future, and any business of our VIEs are “restricted” or “prohibited” from foreign investment under the “negative list” effective at the time, we may be deemed to be in violation of the Foreign Investment Law, the contractual arrangements that allow us to have control over our VIEs may be deemed as invalid and illegal, and we may be required to unwind such contractual arrangements and/or restructure our business operations, any of which may have a material adverse effect on our business operations.
Furthermore, if future laws, administrative regulations or provisions 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. Failure to take timely and appropriate measures to cope with any of these or similar regulatory compliance challenges could materially and adversely affect our current corporate structure and business operations.
We face risks related to health epidemics, severe weather conditions and other outbreaks, including the coronavirus pandemic.
In recent years, there have been outbreaks of epidemics in various countries, including China. Recently, there was an outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) in China, which has spread rapidly to many parts of the world. The outbreak resulted in quarantines, travel restrictions, and the temporary closure of stores and facilities throughout the world. In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
Substantially all of our revenues and our workforce are concentrated in China. Consequently, our results of operations will likely be adversely, and may be materially, affected, to the extent that COVID-19 or any other epidemic harms the Chinese and global economy in general. Any potential impact to our results will depend on, to a large extent, future developments and new information that may emerge regarding the duration and severity of the COVID-19 outbreak and the actions taken by government authorities and other entities to contain the COVID-19 outbreak or treat its impact, almost all of which are beyond our control. Potential impacts of COVID-19 or any other epidemic include, but are not limited to, the following:
|●||temporary closure of offices, travel restrictions or suspension of services of our customers and suppliers have negatively affected, and could continue to negatively affect, the demand for our services;|
|●||our customers may require additional time to pay us or fail to pay us at all, which could significantly increase the amount of accounts receivable and require us to record additional allowances for doubtful accounts;|
|●||the business operations of our distributors have been and could continue to be negatively impacted by the outbreak, which may negatively impact our distribution channel, or result in loss of customers or disruption of our services, which may in turn materially adversely affect our financial condition and operating results; and|
|●||any disruption of our supply chain, logistics providers or customers could adversely impact our business and results of operations.|
With the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic occurring at the beginning of 2020, our business was adversely impacted in late 2021 and the first few months of 2022. Our total revenue in 2021 and first few months of 2022 decreased, mainly due to the random lockdown due to the frequent resurgence of COVID-19 in China.
In general, our business could be adversely affected by the effects of epidemics, including, but not limited to, COVID-19, avian influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the influenza A virus, Ebola virus, severe weather conditions such as a snowstorm, flood or hazardous air pollution, or other outbreaks. In response to an epidemic, severe weather conditions, or other outbreaks, government and other organizations may adopt regulations and policies that could lead to severe disruption to our daily operations, including temporary closure of our offices and other facilities. These severe conditions may cause us and/or our partners to make internal adjustments, including but not limited to, temporarily closing down business, limiting business hours, and setting restrictions on travel and/or visits with clients and partners for a prolonged period of time. Various impacts arising from severe conditions may cause business disruption, resulting in material, adverse impact to our financial condition and results of operations.
Risks Related to Intellectual Property
If we are not able to adequately protect our proprietary intellectual property and information, and protect against third party claims that we are infringing on their intellectual property rights, our results of operations could be adversely affected.
The value of our business depends on our ability to protect our intellectual property and information, including our trademarks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets, and rights under agreements with third parties, in China and around the world, as well as our customer, employee, and consumer data. Third parties may try to challenge our ownership of our intellectual property in China and around the world. In addition, our business is subject to the risk of third parties counterfeiting our products or infringing on our intellectual property rights. The steps we have taken may not prevent unauthorized use of our intellectual property. We may need to resort to litigation to protect our intellectual property rights, which could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources. If we fail to protect our proprietary intellectual property and information, including with respect to any successful challenge to our ownership of intellectual property or material infringements of our intellectual property, this failure could have a significant adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
If we are unable to adequately protect our intellectual property rights, or if we are accused of infringing on the intellectual property rights of others, our competitive position could be harmed or we could be required to incur significant expenses to enforce or defend our rights.
Our commercial success will depend in part on our success in obtaining and maintaining issued patents, trademarks and other intellectual property rights in China and elsewhere and protecting our proprietary technology. If we do not adequately protect our intellectual property and proprietary technology, competitors may be able to use our technologies or the goodwill we have acquired in the marketplace and erode or negate any competitive advantage we may have, which could harm our business and ability to achieve profitability.
We cannot provide any assurances that any of our patents has, or that any of our pending patent applications that mature into issued patents will include, claims with a scope sufficient to protect our products, any additional features we develop for our products or any new products. Other parties may have developed technologies that may be related or competitive to our system, may have filed or may file patent applications and may have received or may receive patents that overlap or conflict with our patent applications, either by claiming the same methods or devices or by claiming subject matter that could dominate our patent position. Our patent position may involve complex legal and factual questions, and, therefore, the scope, validity and enforceability of any patent claims that we may obtain cannot be predicted with certainty. Patents, if issued, may be challenged, deemed unenforceable, invalidated or circumvented. Proceedings challenging our patents could result in either loss of the patent or denial of the patent application or loss or reduction in the scope of one or more of the claims of the patent or patent application. In addition, such proceedings may be costly. Thus, any patents that we may own may not provide any protection against competitors. Furthermore, an adverse decision in an interference proceeding can result in a third party receiving the patent right sought by us, which in turn could affect our ability to commercialize our products.
Though an issued patent is presumed valid and enforceable, its issuance is not conclusive as to its validity or its enforceability and it may not provide us with adequate proprietary protection or competitive advantages against competitors with similar products. Competitors could purchase our products and attempt to replicate some or all of the competitive advantages we derive from our development efforts, willfully infringe our intellectual property rights, design around our patents, or develop and obtain patent protection for more effective technologies, designs or methods. We may be unable to prevent the unauthorized disclosure or use of our technical knowledge or trade secrets by consultants, suppliers, vendors, former employees and current employees.
Our ability to enforce our patent rights depends on our ability to detect infringement. It may be difficult to detect infringers who do not advertise the components that are used in their products. Moreover, it may be difficult or impossible to obtain evidence of infringement in a competitor’s or potential competitor’s product. We may not prevail in any lawsuits that we initiate and the damages or other remedies awarded if we were to prevail may not be commercially meaningful.
In addition, proceedings to enforce or defend our patents could put our patents at risk of being invalidated, held unenforceable or interpreted narrowly. Such proceedings could also provoke third parties to assert claims against us, including that some or all of the claims in one or more of our patents are invalid or otherwise unenforceable. If any of our patents covering our products are invalidated or found unenforceable, or if a court found that valid, enforceable patents held by third parties covered one or more of our products, our competitive position could be harmed or we could be required to incur significant expenses to enforce or defend our rights.
The degree of future protection for our proprietary rights is uncertain, and we cannot ensure that:
|●||any of our patents, or any of our pending patent applications, if issued, will include claims having a scope sufficient to protect our products;|
|●||any of our pending patent applications will issue as patents;|
|●||we will be able to successfully commercialize our products on a substantial scale, if approved, before our relevant patents we may have expire;|
|●||we were the first to make the inventions covered by each of our patents and pending patent applications;|
|●||we were the first to file patent applications for these inventions;|
|●||others will not develop similar or alternative technologies that do not infringe our patents; any of our patents will be found to ultimately be valid and enforceable;|
|●||any patents issued to us will provide a basis for an exclusive market for our commercially viable products, will provide us with any competitive advantages or will not be challenged by third parties;|
|●||we will develop additional proprietary technologies or products that are separately patentable; or|
|●||our commercial activities or products will not infringe upon the patents of others.|
We rely, in part, upon unpatented trade secrets, unpatented know-how and continuing technological innovation to develop and maintain our competitive position. Further, our trade secrets could otherwise become known or be independently discovered by our competitors.
Litigation or other proceedings or third party claims of intellectual property infringement could require us to spend significant time and money and could prevent us from selling our products or affect our stock price.
Our commercial success will depend in part on not infringing the patents or violating the other proprietary rights of others. Significant litigation regarding patent rights occurs in our industry. Our competitors in both the United States and abroad, many of which have substantially greater resources and have made substantial investments in patent portfolios and competing technologies, may have applied for or obtained or may in the future apply for and obtain, patents that will prevent, limit or otherwise interfere with our ability to make, use and sell our products. We do not always conduct independent reviews of patents issued to third parties. In addition, patent applications in China and elsewhere can be pending for many years before issuance, or unintentionally abandoned patents or applications can be revived, so there may be applications of others now pending or recently revived patents of which we are unaware. These applications may later result in issued patents, or the revival of previously abandoned patents, that will prevent, limit or otherwise interfere with our ability to make, use or sell our products. Third parties may, in the future, assert claims that we are employing their proprietary technology without authorization, including claims from competitors or from non-practicing entities that have no relevant product revenue and against whom our own patent portfolio may have no deterrent effect. As we continue to commercialize our products in their current or updated forms, launch new products and enter new markets, we expect competitors may claim that one or more of our products infringe their intellectual property rights as part of business strategies designed to impede our successful commercialization and entry into new markets. The large number of patents, the rapid rate of new patent applications and issuances, the complexities of the technology involved, and the uncertainty of litigation may increase the risk of business resources and management’s attention being diverted to patent litigation. We have, and we may in the future, receive letters or other threats or claims from third parties inviting us to take licenses under, or alleging that we infringe, their patents.
Moreover, we may become party to future adversarial proceedings regarding our patent portfolio or the patents of third parties. Patents may be subjected to opposition, post-grant review or comparable proceedings lodged in various foreign, both national and regional, patent offices. The legal threshold for initiating litigation or contested proceedings may be low, so that even lawsuits or proceedings with a low probability of success might be initiated. Litigation and contested proceedings can also be expensive and time-consuming, and our adversaries in these proceedings may have the ability to dedicate substantially greater resources to prosecuting these legal actions than we can. We may also occasionally use these proceedings to challenge the patent rights of others. We cannot be certain that any particular challenge will be successful in limiting or eliminating the challenged patent rights of the third party.
Any lawsuits resulting from such allegations could subject us to significant liability for damages and invalidate our proprietary rights. Any potential intellectual property litigation also could force us to do one or more of the following:
|●||stop making, selling or using products or technologies that allegedly infringe the asserted intellectual property;|
|●||lose the opportunity to license our technology to others or to collect royalty payments based upon successful protection and assertion of our intellectual property rights against others; incur significant legal expenses;|
|●||pay substantial damages or royalties to the party whose intellectual property rights we may be found to be infringing;|
|●||pay the attorney’s fees and costs of litigation to the party whose intellectual property rights we may be found to be infringing;|
|●||redesign those products that contain the allegedly infringing intellectual property, which could be costly, disruptive and infeasible; and|
|●||attempt to obtain a license to the relevant intellectual property from third parties, which may not be available on reasonable terms or at all, or from third parties who may attempt to license rights that they do not have.|
Any litigation or claim against us, even those without merit, may cause us to incur substantial costs, and could place a significant strain on our financial resources, divert the attention of management from our core business and harm our reputation. If we are found to infringe the intellectual property rights of third parties, we could be required to pay substantial damages (which may be increased up to three times of awarded damages) and/or substantial royalties and could be prevented from selling our products unless we obtain a license or are able to redesign our products to avoid infringement. Any such license may not be available on reasonable terms, if at all, and there can be no assurance that we would be able to redesign our products in a way that would not infringe the intellectual property rights of others. We could encounter delays in product introductions while we attempt to develop alternative methods or products. If we fail to obtain any required licenses or make any necessary changes to our products or technologies, we may have to withdraw existing products from the market or may be unable to commercialize one or more of our products.
If we are unable to protect the confidentiality of our trade secrets, our business and competitive position could be harmed.
In addition to patent protection, we also rely upon copyright and trade secret protection, as well as non-disclosure agreements with our employees, consultants and third parties, to protect our confidential and proprietary information. In addition to contractual measures, we try to protect the confidential nature of our proprietary information using commonly accepted physical and technological security measures. Such measures may not, for example, in the case of misappropriation of a trade secret by an employee or third party with authorized access, provide adequate protection for our proprietary information. Our security measures may not prevent an employee or consultant from misappropriating our trade secrets and providing them to a competitor, and recourse we take against such misconduct may not provide an adequate remedy to protect our interests fully. Unauthorized parties may also attempt to copy or reverse engineer certain aspects of our products that we consider proprietary. Enforcing a claim that a party illegally disclosed or misappropriated a trade secret can be difficult, expensive and time-consuming, and the outcome is unpredictable. Even though we use commonly accepted security measures, trade secret violations are often a matter of state law, and the criteria for protection of trade secrets can vary among different jurisdictions. In addition, trade secrets may be independently developed by others in a manner that could prevent legal recourse by us. If any of our confidential or proprietary information, such as our trade secrets, were to be disclosed or misappropriated, or if any such information was independently developed by a competitor, our business and competitive position could be harmed.
Third parties may assert ownership or commercial rights to inventions we develop.
We may face claims by third parties that our agreements with employees, contractors or consultants obligating them to assign intellectual property to us are ineffective or in conflict with prior or competing contractual obligations of assignment, which could result in ownership disputes regarding intellectual property we have developed or will develop and interfere with our ability to capture the commercial value of such intellectual property. Litigation may be necessary to resolve an ownership dispute, and if we are not successful, we may be precluded from using certain intellectual property or may lose our exclusive rights in that intellectual property. Either outcome could harm our business and competitive position.
Third parties may assert that our employees or consultants have wrongfully used or disclosed confidential information or misappropriated trade secrets.
We may employ individuals who previously worked with other companies, including our competitors or potential competitors. Although we try to ensure that our employees and consultants do not use the proprietary information or know-how of others in their work for us, we may be subject to claims that we or our employees, consultants or independent contractors have inadvertently or otherwise used or disclosed intellectual property or personal data, including trade secrets or other proprietary information, of a former employer or other third party. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these claims. If we fail in defending any such claims or settling those claims, in addition to paying monetary damages or a settlement payment, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights or personnel. Even if we are successful in defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management and other employees.
Our computer systems and operations may be vulnerable to security breaches.
We expect that the cloud-based applications embedded in our toys will be an important foundation for establishing our company as a leading source of technology. For that reason, among others, the safety of our network and our secure transmission of information over the internet will be essential to our operations and our services. Our network and our computer infrastructure are potentially vulnerable to physical breaches or to the introduction of computer viruses, abuse of use and similar disruptive problems and security breaches that could cause loss (both economic and otherwise), interruptions, delays or loss of services to our users. We have been the target of attempted cyber-security breaches in the past and expect that we will continue to be subject to such attempts in the future. It is possible that advances in computer capabilities or new technologies could result in a compromise or breach of the technology we use to protect user transaction data. A party that is able to circumvent our security systems could misappropriate proprietary information, cause interruptions in our operations or utilize our network without authorization. Security breaches also could damage our reputation and expose us to a risk of loss, litigation and possible liability. We cannot guarantee you that our security measures will prevent security breaches.
Risks Related to Doing Business in China
Changes in China’s economic, political or legal system or social conditions or government policies could have a material adverse effect on our business and operations.
Our business operations conducted through our PRC operating entities may be adversely affected by the current and future political environment in the PRC. Recently, the PRC government initiated a series of regulatory actions and statements to regulate business operations in China with little advance notice, including cracking down on illegal activities in the securities market, enhancing supervision over China-based companies listed overseas using variable interest entity structure, adopting new measures to extend the scope of cybersecurity reviews, and expanding the efforts in anti-monopoly enforcement. The Chinese government exerts substantial influence and control over the manner in which we must conduct our business activities. Our ability to operate in China may be adversely affected by changes in Chinese laws and regulations. Under the current government leadership, the government of the PRC has been pursuing reform policies which have adversely affected China-based operating companies whose securities are listed in the United States, with significant policies changes being made from time to time without notice. There are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of PRC laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, the laws and regulations governing our business, or the enforcement and performance of our contractual arrangements with borrowers in the event of the imposition of statutory liens, death, bankruptcy or criminal proceedings. 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. Only after 1979 did the Chinese government begin to promulgate a comprehensive system of laws that regulate economic affairs in general, deal with economic matters such as foreign investment, corporate organization and governance, commerce, taxation and trade, as well as encourage foreign investment in China. The overall effect of legislation over the past three 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. Also, because these laws and regulations are relatively new, and because of the limited volume of published cases and their lack of force as precedents, interpretation and enforcement of these laws and regulations involve significant uncertainties. New laws and regulations that affect existing and proposed future businesses may also be applied retroactively. In addition, there have been constant changes and amendments of laws and regulations over the past 30 years in order to keep up with the rapidly changing society and economy in China. Since PRC administrative and court authorities have significant discretion in interpreting and implementing statutory provisions and contractual terms, it may be difficult to evaluate the outcome of administrative and court proceedings and the level of legal protection we enjoy. 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. Consequently, we cannot predict the future direction of Chinese legislative activities with respect to either businesses with foreign investment or the effectiveness on enforcement of laws and regulations in China. The uncertainties, including new laws and regulations and changes of existing laws, as well as judicial interpretation by inexperienced officials in the agencies and courts in certain areas, may cause possible problems to foreign investors. Although the PRC government has been pursuing economic reform policies for more than two decades, the PRC government continues to exercise significant control over economic growth in the PRC through the allocation of resources, controlling payments of foreign currency, setting monetary policy and imposing policies that impact particular industries in different ways. We cannot assure you that the PRC government will continue to pursue policies favoring a market oriented economy or that existing policies will not be significantly altered, especially in the event of a change in leadership, social or political disruption, or other circumstances affecting political, economic and social life in the PRC. 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.
Accordingly, given the PRC government’s significant oversight and discretion over the conduct of our operating subsidiaries and VIEs’ business, it may intervene or influence the operations of our PRC subsidiaries or our VIEs at any time and to exert control over an offering of securities conducted overseas and/or foreign investment in China-based issuers, which may cause us to make material changes to the operations of our PRC subsidiaries or our VIEs and could significantly limit or completely hinder our ability to offer or continue to offer securities to investors and cause the value of our securities to significantly decline or be worthless.
The economy of China had experienced unprecedented growth. This growth has slowed in the recent years, and if the growth of the economy continues to slow or if the economy contracts, our financial condition may be materially and adversely affected.
The rapid growth of the Chinese economy had historically resulted in widespread growth opportunities for industries across China. However, the growth has been uneven, both geographically and among various sectors of the economy, and growth has slowed in the recent years. As a result of the global financial crisis and the inability of enterprises to gain comparable access to the same amounts of capital available in past years, there may be an adverse effect on the business climate and growth of private enterprises in China. 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. An economic slowdown could have an adverse effect on our sales and may increase our costs. Further, if economic growth continues to slow, and if, in conjunction, inflation continues unchecked, our costs would be likely to increase, and there can be no assurance that we would be able to increase our prices to an extent that would offset the increase in our expenses.
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, which may adversely affect our business and operating results.
In addition, a tightened labor markets in our geographic region may result in fewer qualified applicants for job openings in our facilities. Further, higher wages, related labor costs and other increasing cost trends may negatively impact our results.
China is trying to resume its extraordinary, nearly half-century-long run of growth which was slowed down by. According to an article titled “China’s Economic Trends Hint at Cost of Zero Covid Strategy” published on the New York Times on April 17, 2022, recovering from COVID-19 Pandemic, China’s economy expanded 4.8 percent in the first three months of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021. That pace was barely faster than the final three months in 2021, and it also obscured a looming problem. However, China has been enforcing an expanding number of mass quarantines, strict lockdowns and border controls, facing with the its worst Covid-19 outbreak yet since 2020. Much of that growth was recorded in January and February. Starting from March, economic activity slowed as Shenzhen, the technology hub in the south, and then Shanghai, the country’s biggest city, and other important industrial centers shut down. The slowdown that started in March is expected to worsen this month, with even more regions placed under restrictions. By April 11, 2022, 87 of China’s 100 largest cities had imposed some form of restriction on movement, according to Gavekal Dragonomics, an independent economic research firm that has been tracking lockdowns. Therefore, we cannot predict how China’s economy will develop amid the significant uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic resurgence.
Compliance with China’s new Data Security Law, Measures on Cybersecurity Review (revised draft for public consultation), Personal Information Protection Law (second draft for consultation), regulations and guidelines relating to the multi-level protection scheme and any other future laws and regulations may entail significant expenses and could materially affect our business.
China has implemented or will implement rules and is considering a number of additional proposals relating to data protection. China’s new Data Security Law promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China in June 2021, or the Data Security Law, took effect in September 2021. The Data Security Law provides that the data processing activities must be conducted based on “data classification and hierarchical protection system” for the purpose of data protection and prohibits entities in China from transferring data stored in China to foreign law enforcement agencies or judicial authorities without prior approval by the Chinese government. As the Data Security Law has not yet come into effect, we may need to make adjustments to our data processing practices to comply with this law.
Additionally, China’s Cyber Security Law, requires companies to take certain organizational, technical and administrative measures and other necessary measures to ensure the security of their networks and data stored on their networks. Specifically, the Cyber Security Law provides that China adopt a multi-level protection scheme (MLPS), under which network operators are required to perform obligations of security protection to ensure that the network is free from interference, disruption or unauthorized access, and prevent network data from being disclosed, stolen or tampered. Under the MLPS, entities operating information systems must have a thorough assessment of the risks and the conditions of their information and network systems to determine the level to which the entity’s information and network systems belong-from the lowest Level 1 to the highest Level 5 pursuant to the Measures for the Graded Protection and the Guidelines for Grading of Classified Protection of Cyber Security. The grading result will determine the set of security protection obligations that entities must comply with. Entities classified as Level 2 or above should report the grade to the relevant government authority for examination and approval.
Recently, the Cyberspace Administration of China (the “CAC”) has taken action against several Chinese internet companies in connection with their initial public offerings on U.S. securities exchanges, for alleged national security risks and improper collection and use of the personal information of Chinese data subjects. According to the official announcement, the action was initiated based on the National Security Law, the Cyber Security Law and the Measures on Cybersecurity Review, which are aimed at “preventing national data security risks, maintaining national security and safeguarding public interests.” On July 10, 2021, the CAC published a revised draft of the Measures on Cybersecurity Review, expanding the cybersecurity review to data processing operators in possession of personal information of over 1 million users if the operators intend to list their securities in a foreign country.
We do not believe we are among the “operator of critical information infrastructure” or “data processor” as mentioned above. Based on the above and our understanding of the Chinese laws and regulations currently in effect as of the date of this report, we will not be required to submit an application to the CSRC or the CAC for the approval of a future offering and the listing and trading of our securities on the Nasdaq. However, the revised draft of the Measures for Cybersecurity Review is in the process of being formulated and the Opinions remain unclear on how it will be interpreted, amended and implemented by the relevant PRC governmental authorities. Thus, it is still uncertain how PRC governmental authorities will regulate overseas listing in general and whether we are required to obtain any specific regulatory approvals.
Also, on August 20, 2021, the National People’s Congress passed the Personal Information Protection Law, started to be implemented on November 1, 2021. The law creates a comprehensive set of data privacy and protection requirements that apply to the processing of personal information and expands data protection compliance obligations to cover the processing of personal information of persons by organizations and individuals in China, and the processing of personal information of persons in China outside of China if such processing is for purposes of providing products and services to, or analyzing and evaluating the behavior of, persons in China. The law also proposes that critical information infrastructure operators and personal information processing entities who process personal information meeting a volume threshold to-be-set by Chinese cyberspace regulators are also required to store in China personal information generated or collected in China, and to pass a security assessment administered by Chinese cyberspace regulators for any export of such personal information. Lastly, the draft contains proposals for significant fines for serious violations of up to RMB 50 million or 5% of annual revenues from the prior year.
Interpretation, application and enforcement of these laws, rules and regulations evolve from time to time and their scope may continually change, through new legislation, amendments to existing legislation and changes in enforcement. Compliance with the Cyber Security Law and the Data Security Law could significantly increase the cost to us of providing our service offerings, require significant changes to our operations or even prevent us from providing certain service offerings in jurisdictions in which we currently operate or in which we may operate in the future. Despite our efforts to comply with applicable laws, regulations and other obligations relating to privacy, data protection and information security, and our belief that we are currently in compliance therewith, it is possible that our practices, offerings or platform could fail to meet all of the requirements imposed on us by the Cyber Security Law, the Data Security Law and/or related implementing regulations. Any failure on our part to comply with such law or regulations or any other obligations relating to privacy, data protection or information security, or any compromise of security that results in unauthorized access, use or release of personally identifiable information or other data, or the perception or allegation that any of the foregoing types of failure or compromise has occurred, could damage our reputation, discourage new and existing counterparties from contracting with us or result in investigations, fines, suspension or other penalties by Chinese government authorities and private claims or litigation, any of which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Even if our practices are not subject to legal challenge, the perception of privacy concerns, whether or not valid, may harm our reputation and brand and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Moreover, the legal uncertainty created by the Data Security Law and the recent Chinese government actions could materially adversely affect our ability, on favorable terms, to raise capital, including engaging in follow-on offerings of our securities in the U.S. market or the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. While we believe that our current operations are in compliance with the laws and regulations of the Cyberspace Administration of China, our operations could be adversely affected, directly or indirectly, by existing or future laws and regulations relating to its business or industry.
Recent greater oversight by the CAC over data security, particularly for companies seeking to list on a foreign exchange, could adversely impact our business and our offering.
On December 28, 2021, the CAC and other relevant PRC governmental authorities jointly promulgated the Cybersecurity Review Measures, which will take effect on February 15, 2022. The Cybersecurity Review Measures provide that, net platform operators engaging in data processing activities that affect or may affect national security must be subject to cybersecurity review by the Cybersecurity Review Office of the PRC. According to the Cybersecurity Review Measures, a cybersecurity review assesses potential national security risks that may be brought about by any procurement, data processing, or overseas listing. The Cybersecurity Review Measures require that an online platform operator which possesses the personal information of at least one million users must apply for a cybersecurity review by the CAC if it intends to be listed in foreign countries.
On November 14, 2021, the CAC published the Security Administration Draft, which provides that data processing operators engaging in data processing activities that affect or may affect national security must be subject to network data security review by the relevant Cyberspace Administration of the PRC. According to the Security Administration Draft, data processing operators who possess personal data of at least one million users or collect data that affects or may affect national security must be subject to network data security review by the relevant Cyberspace Administration of the PRC. The deadline for public comments on the Security Administration Draft was December 13, 2021.
As of the date of this report, we have not received any notice from any authorities requiring our PRC subsidiaries, our VIEs, or the VIEs’ subsidiaries to go through cybersecurity review or network data security review by the CAC. When the Cybersecurity Review Measures become effective, and if the Security Administration Draft is enacted as proposed, we believe that the operations of our PRC subsidiaries and the VIEs and our listing will not be affected and that we will not be subject to cybersecurity review by the CAC for this offering, given that our PRC subsidiaries and the VIEs possess personal data of fewer than one million individual clients and do not collect data that affects or may affect national security in their business operations as of the date of this prospectus and do not anticipate that they will be collecting over one million users’ personal information or data that affects or may affect national security in the near future. There remains uncertainty, however, as to how the Cybersecurity Review Measures and the Security Administration Draft will be interpreted or implemented and whether the PRC regulatory agencies, including the CAC, may adopt new laws, regulations, rules, or detailed implementation and interpretation related to the Cybersecurity Review Measures and the Security Administration Draft. If any such new laws, regulations, rules, or implementation and interpretation come into effect, we will take all reasonable measures and actions to comply and to minimize the adverse effect of such laws on us. We cannot guarantee, however, that we will not be subject to cybersecurity review and network data security review in the future. During such reviews, we may be required to suspend our operation or experience other disruptions to our operations. Cybersecurity review and network data security review could also result in negative publicity with respect to our Company and diversion of our managerial and financial resources, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial conditions, and results of operations.
You may experience difficulties in effecting service of legal process, enforcing foreign judgments or bringing actions in China against us or our management named in the annual report based on foreign laws.
We are a holding company incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands. We conduct substantially all of our operations in China and substantially all of our assets are located in China. In addition, all our senior employees reside within China for a significant portion of the time and most are PRC residents. As a result, it may be difficult for our shareholders to effect service of process upon us or those persons inside mainland China. In addition, China does not have treaties providing for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments of courts with the Cayman Islands and many other countries and regions. Therefore, recognition and enforcement in China of judgments of a court in any of these non-PRC jurisdictions in relation to any matter not subject to a binding arbitration provision may be difficult or impossible.
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 could have a material and adverse effect on our ability to conduct our business.
We are a Cayman Islands holding company and we rely principally on dividends and other distributions on equity from our PRC subsidiaries for our cash requirements, including for services of any debt we may incur. Our PRC subsidiaries’ ability to distribute dividends is based upon its distributable earnings. Current PRC regulations permit our PRC subsidiaries to pay dividends to its 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 VIEs and their subsidiaries are 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. Our PRC subsidiaries as FIEs are 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 incurs 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 addition, the Enterprise Income Tax Law and its implementation rules provide that a withholding tax rate of up to 10% will be applicable to dividends payable by Chinese companies to non-PRC-resident enterprises unless otherwise exempted or reduced according to treaties or arrangements between the PRC central government and governments of other countries or regions where the non-PRC resident enterprises are incorporated.
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 depreciated significantly in the backdrop of a surging U.S. dollar and persistent capital outflows of China. 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 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 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. In addition, appreciation or depreciation in the value of the Renminbi relative to U.S. dollars would affect our financial results reported in U.S. dollar terms regardless of any underlying change in our business or results of operations.
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.
Governmental control of currency conversion may limit our ability to utilize our net revenues effectively and affect the value of your investment.
The PRC government imposes controls on the convertibility of the Renminbi into foreign currencies and, 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 the 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 to use cash generated from the operations of our PRC subsidiaries and VIEs 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.
Certain PRC regulations may make it more difficult for us to pursue growth through acquisitions.
Among other things, the Regulations 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, established additional procedures and requirements that could make merger and acquisition activities by foreign investors more time-consuming and complex. Such regulation requires, among other things, that the MOFCOM be notified in advance of any change-of-control transaction in which a foreign investor acquires control of a PRC domestic enterprise or a foreign company with substantial PRC operations, if certain thresholds under the Provisions on Thresholds for Prior Notification of Concentrations of Undertakings, issued by the State Council in 2008, are triggered. Moreover, the Anti-Monopoly Law promulgated by the Standing Committee of the NPC which became effective in 2008 requires that transactions which are deemed concentrations and involve parties with specified turnover thresholds must be cleared by the MOFCOM before they can be completed. In addition, PRC national security review rules which became effective in September 2011 require acquisitions by foreign investors of PRC companies engaged in military related or certain other industries that are crucial to national security be subject to security review before consummation of any such acquisition. We may pursue potential strategic acquisitions that are complementary to our business and operations. Complying with the requirements of these regulations to complete such transactions could be time-consuming, and any required approval processes, including obtaining approval or clearance from the MOFCOM, 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.
In July 2014, SAFE promulgated the Circular on Relevant Issues Concerning Foreign Exchange Control on Domestic Residents’ Offshore Investment and Financing and Roundtrip Investment Through Special Purpose Vehicles, or SAFE Circular 37, to replace the Notice on Relevant Issues Concerning Foreign Exchange Administration for Domestic Residents’ Financing and Roundtrip Investment Through Offshore Special Purpose Vehicles, or SAFE Circular 75, which ceased to be effective upon the promulgation of SAFE Circular 37. SAFE Circular 37 requires PRC residents (including PRC individuals and PRC corporate entities) to register with SAFE or its local branches in connection with their direct or indirect offshore investment activities, for the purpose of overseas investment and financing, with such PRC residents’ legally owned assets or equity interests in domestic enterprises or offshore assets or interests, referred to in Circular 37 as a “special purpose vehicle”, or SPV. The term “control” under Circular 37 is broadly defined as the operation rights, beneficiary rights or decision-making rights acquired by the PRC residents in the offshore SPVs by such means as acquisition, trust, proxy, voting rights, repurchase, convertible bonds or other arrangements. Failure to comply with the various SAFE registration requirements described above could result in liability under PRC law for foreign exchange evasion. SAFE Circular 37 is applicable to our shareholders who are PRC residents and may be applicable to any offshore acquisitions or share transfers that we make in the future if our shares are issued to PRC residents.
Under SAFE Circular 37, PRC residents who make, or have prior to the implementation of SAFE Circular 37 made, direct or indirect investments in offshore SPVs will be required to register such investments with the SAFE or its local branches. In addition, any PRC resident who is a direct or indirect shareholder of a SPV is required to update its filed registration with the local branch of SAFE with respect to that SPV, to reflect any material change. Moreover, any subsidiaries of such SPV in China is required to urge the PRC resident shareholders to update their registration with the local branch of SAFE. If any PRC shareholder of such SPV fails to make the required registration or to update the previously filed registration, the subsidiaries of such SPV in China may be prohibited from distributing its profits or the proceeds from any capital reduction, share transfer or liquidation to the SPV, and the SPV may also be prohibited from making additional capital contributions into its subsidiaries in China. On February 13, 2015, the SAFE promulgated a Notice on Further Simplifying and Improving Foreign Exchange Administration Policy on Direct Investment, or SAFE Notice 13, which became effective on June 1, 2015. Under SAFE Notice 13, applications for foreign exchange registration of inbound foreign direct investments and outbound overseas direct investments, including those required under SAFE Circular 37, will be filed with qualified banks instead of the SAFE. The qualified banks will directly examine the applications and accept registrations under the supervision of the SAFE.
In practice, different local SAFE branches may have different views and procedures on the application and implementation of SAFE regulations, and there remains uncertainty with respect to its implementation. We cannot assure you that all of our shareholders that may be subject to SAFE regulations have completed all necessary registrations with the local SAFE branch or qualified banks as required by SAFE Circular 37, and we cannot assure you that these individuals may continue to make required filings or updates in a timely manner, or at all. We can provide no assurance that we are or will in the future continue to be informed of identities of all PRC residents holding direct or indirect interest in our company. Any failure or inability by such individuals to comply with the SAFE regulations may subject us to fines or legal sanctions, such as restrictions on our cross-border investment activities or our PRC subsidiaries’ ability to distribute dividends to, or obtain foreign exchange-denominated loans from, our company or prevent us from making distributions or paying dividends. As a result, our business operations and our ability to make distributions to you could be materially and adversely affected.
Furthermore, as these foreign exchange 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.
Failure to comply with PRC regulations regarding the registration requirements for employee equity incentive plans may subject our PRC citizen employees or us to fines and other legal or administrative sanctions.
On March 28, 2007, the SAFE promulgated the Application Procedure of Foreign Exchange Administration for Domestic Individuals Participating in Employee Stock Holding Plan or Share Option Plan of Overseas-Listed Company, which were superseded by Notice from SAFE regarding Issues related to Domestic Individual Participating Offshore Public Company Equity Incentive Plan promulgated on February 15, 2012 (“SAFE #7”) or the Share Option Rule. Under the Share Option Rule, PRC citizens who are granted stock options or other employee equity incentive awards by an overseas publicly-listed company are required, through a PRC agent who may be a PRC subsidiary of such overseas publicly-listed company, to register with the SAFE and complete certain other procedures related to the share options or other employee equity incentive plans. We and our PRC citizen employees who are granted share options or other equity incentive awards under our 2010 Long-Term Incentive Plan, or PRC optionees, are subject to the Share Option Rule. If we or our PRC optionees fail to comply with these regulations, we or our PRC optionees may be subject to fines and legal sanctions.
PRC regulation of loans to and direct investment in PRC entities by offshore holding companies and governmental control of currency conversion may delay us from using the proceeds of offerings in the U.S. to make loans or additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiaries, which could materially and adversely affect our liquidity and our ability to fund and expand our business.
Any funds the Company transfer to our PRC subsidiaries, either as a shareholder loan or as an increase in registered capital, are subject to approval by or registration with relevant governmental authorities in China. According to the relevant PRC regulations on foreign-invested enterprises, or FIEs, in China, capital contributions to our PRC subsidiaries are subject to the approval of or filing with the Ministry of Commerce, or MOFCOM or its local branches and registration with a local bank authorized by SAFE. In addition, (i) a foreign loan of less one year duration procured by our PRC subsidiaries is required to be registered with SAFE or its local branches and (ii) a foreign loan of one year duration or more procured by our PRC subsidiaries is required to be applied to the NDRC in advance for undergoing recordation registration formalities. Any medium or long-term loan to be provided by us to our PRC operating subsidiaries, must be registered with the NDRC and the SAFE or its local branches. The Company may not be able to complete such registrations on a timely basis, with respect to future capital contributions or foreign loans by us to our PRC Subsidiaries. If the Company fail to complete such registrations, our ability to use the proceeds of this offering and to capitalize our PRC operations may be negatively affected, which could adversely affect our liquidity and our ability to fund and expand our business.
On March 30, 2015, the SAFE promulgated the Circular on Reforming the Management Approach Regarding the Foreign Exchange Capital Settlement of Foreign-Invested Enterprises, or SAFE Circular 19, which took effect as of June 1, 2015. SAFE Circular 19 launched a nationwide reform of the administration of the settlement of the foreign exchange capitals of FIEs and allows FIEs to settle their foreign exchange capital at their discretion, but continues to prohibit FIEs from using the Renminbi fund converted from their foreign exchange capital for expenditure beyond their business scopes, providing entrusted loans or repaying loans between nonfinancial enterprises. The SAFE issued the Circular on Reforming and Regulating Policies on the Control over Foreign Exchange Settlement of Capital Accounts, or SAFE Circular 16, effective in June 2016. Pursuant to SAFE Circular 16, enterprises registered in China may also convert their foreign debts from foreign currency to Renminbi on a self-discretionary basis. SAFE Circular 16 provides an integrated standard for conversion of foreign exchange under capital account items (including but not limited to foreign currency capital and foreign debts) on a self-discretionary basis which applies to all enterprises registered in China. SAFE Circular 16 reiterates the principle that Renminbi converted from foreign currency-denominated capital of a company may not be directly or indirectly used for purposes beyond its business scope or prohibited by PRC laws or regulations, while such converted Renminbi shall not be provided as loans to its non-affiliated entities. As this circular is relatively new, there remains uncertainty as to its interpretation and application and any other future foreign exchange related rules. Violations of these Circulars could result in severe monetary or other penalties. SAFE Circular 19 and SAFE Circular 16 may significantly limit our ability to use Renminbi converted from the net proceeds of this offering to fund our PRC operating subsidiaries, to invest in or acquire any other PRC companies through our PRC Subsidiaries, which may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
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 SAT issued the Announcement of the State Administration of Taxation on Several Issues Relating to Enterprise Income Tax on Transfers of Assets between Non-resident Enterprises, or SAT Bulletin 7, which was partially abolished on December 29, 2017. SAT Bulletin 7 extends its tax jurisdiction to transactions involving transfer of taxable assets through the offshore transfer of a foreign intermediate holding company. In addition, SAT Bulletin 7 has introduced safe harbors for internal group restructurings and the purchase and sale of equity through a public securities market. SAT Bulletin 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 SAT issued the Announcement of the State Administration of Taxation on Issues Concerning the Withholding of Non-resident Enterprise Income Tax at Source, or SAT Bulletin 37, which was partially revised. SAT Bulletin 37 came into effect on December 1, 2017. The SAT Bulletin 37 further clarifies the practice and procedure of withholding of non-resident enterprise income tax.
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 Bulletin 7 and/or SAT Bulletin 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 Bulletin 7 and/or SAT Bulletin 37. As a result, we may be required to expend valuable resources to comply with SAT Bulletin 7 and/or SAT Bulletin 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.
Our use of third party manufacturers to produce our products presents risks to our business.
For the foreseeable future, all of our products will be manufactured by third party manufacturers, the majority of which are, and we expect will continue to be, located in China. For the year ended December 31, 2021, our two largest suppliers accounted for 27.78% and 20.95%, respectively, of our total purchases. If we were prevented or delayed in obtaining products or components for a material portion of our product line due to political, civil, labor or other factors beyond our control, including natural disasters or pandemics, our operations may be substantially disrupted, potentially for a significant period of time. This delay could significantly reduce our revenues and profitability and harm our business while alternative sources of supply are secured. Additionally, the suspension of operations of a third party manufacturer by government inspectors in China could result in delays to us in obtaining products and may harm sales.
Our dependence on a limited number of customers could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
One or a few customers have in the past, and may in the future, represent a substantial portion of our total revenues in any one year or over a period of several years. For example, one customer accounted for 14.59% of the Company’s total revenues. Therefore, the loss of business from any one of such customers could have a material adverse effect on our business or results of operations. In addition, a default or delay in payment on a significant scale by a customer could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
Our auditor, Audit Alliance LLP is headquartered in Singapore, and is subject to inspection by the PCAOB on a regular basis. To the extent that our independent registered public accounting firm’s audit documentation related to their audit reports for our company become located in China, the PCAOB may not be able inspect such audit documentation and, as such, you may be deprived of the benefits of such inspection and our ordinary shares could be delisted from the stock exchange pursuant to the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act
The Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, or the HFCAA, was enacted 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 by the PCAOB for three consecutive years beginning in 2021, the SEC shall prohibit our shares from being traded on a national securities exchange or in the over-the-counter trading market in the United States.
As auditors of companies that are traded publicly in the United States and a firm registered with the PCAOB, our auditor is required by the laws of the United States to undergo regular inspections by the PCAOB. However, to the extent that our auditor’s work papers become located in China, such work papers will not be subject to inspection by the PCAOB because the PCAOB is currently unable to conduct inspections without the approval of the Chinese authorities. Inspections of certain other firms that the PCAOB has conducted outside of China have identified deficiencies in those firms’ audit procedures and quality control procedures, which may be addressed as part of the inspection process to improve future audit quality. We are required by the HFCAA to have an auditor that is subject to the inspection by the PCAOB. While our present auditor is located in the United States and the PCAOB is able to conduct inspections on such auditor, to the extent this status changes in the future and our auditor’s audit documentation related to their audit reports for our company becomes outside of the inspection by the PCAOB or if the PCAOB is unable to inspect or investigate completely our auditor because of a position taken by an authority in a foreign jurisdiction, trading in our ordinary shares could be prohibited under the HFCAA, and as a result our ordinary shares could be delisted from Nasdaq.
On May 13, 2021, the PCAOB proposed a new rule for implementing the HFCAA. Among other things, the proposed rule provides a framework for the PCAOB to use when determining, under the HFCAA, whether it is unable to inspect or investigate completely registered public accounting firms located in a foreign jurisdiction because of a position taken by one or more authorities in that jurisdiction. The proposed rule would also establish the manner of the PCAOB’s determinations; the factors the PCAOB will evaluate and the documents and information it will consider when assessing whether a determination is warranted; the form, public availability, effective date, and duration of such determinations; and the process by which the board of the PCAOB can modify or vacate its determinations. The proposed rule was adopted by the PCAOB on September 22, 2021 and approved by the SEC on November 5, 2021.
On June 22, 2021, the U.S. Senate passed a bill which, if passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and signed into law, would reduce the number of consecutive non-inspection years required for triggering the prohibitions under the HFCA Act from three years to two, under this proposal, if the auditor is not subject to PCAOB inspections for two consecutive years, it will trigger the prohibition on trading, thus posing more risks on potential delisting as well as the price of Company’s ordinary shares especially on foreign companies.
The SEC is assessing how to implement other requirements of the HFCAA, including the listing and trading prohibition requirements described above. The SEC may propose additional rules or guidance that could impact us if our auditor is not subject to the PCAOB inspection. For example, on August 6, 2020, the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, or the PWG, issued the Report on Protecting United States Investors from Significant Risks from Chinese Companies to the then President of the United States. This report recommended the SEC implement five recommendations to address companies from jurisdictions that do not provide the PCAOB with sufficient access to fulfill its statutory mandate. Some of the concepts of these recommendations were implemented with the enactment of the HFCAA. However, some of the recommendations were more stringent than the HFCAA. For example, if a company was not subject to the PCAOB inspection, the report recommended that the transition period before a company would be delisted would end on January 1, 2022.
On December 2, 2021, the SEC issued amendments to finalize the interim final rules previously adopted in March 2021, and established procedures to identify issuers and prohibit the trading of the securities of certain registrants as required by the HFCAA.
While the HFCAA is not currently applicable to the Company because the Company’s current auditors are subject to PCAOB review, if this changes in the future for any reason, the Company may be subject to the HFCAA. The implications of this regulation if the Company were to become subject to it are uncertain. Such uncertainty could cause the market price of our ordinary shares to be materially and adversely affected, and our securities could be delisted or prohibited from being traded on Nasdaq earlier than would be required by the HFCAA. If our ordinary shares are unable to be listed on another securities exchange by then, such a delisting would substantially impair your ability to sell or purchase the ordinary shares when you wish to do so, and the risk and uncertainty associated with a potential delisting would have a negative impact on the price of the ordinary shares.
Additional factors outside of our control related to doing business in China could negatively affect our business.
Additional factors that could negatively affect our business include a potential significant revaluation of the Renminbi, which may result in an increase in the cost of producing products in China, labor shortages and increases in labor costs in China as well as difficulties in moving products manufactured in China out of the country, whether due to port congestion, labor disputes, slowdowns, product regulations and/or inspections or other factors. Prolonged disputes or slowdowns can negatively impact both the time and cost of transporting goods. Natural disasters or health pandemics impacting China can also have a significant negative impact on our business. Further, the imposition of trade sanctions or other regulations against products imported by us from, or the loss of “normal trade relations” status with, China, could significantly increase our cost of products exported outside of China and harm our business.
Risks Related to our Ordinary Shares
An active trading market for our ordinary shares may not be sustained.
Our ordinary shares have been listed on Nasdaq only since July 26, 2019, and we cannot assure you that an active trading market for our ordinary shares will be sustained or maintained. The lack of an active trading market may impair the value of your shares and your ability to sell your shares at the time you wish to sell them. An inactive trading market may also impair our ability to raise capital by selling shares of our ordinary shares and enter into strategic partnerships or acquire other complementary products, technologies or businesses by using shares of our ordinary shares as consideration. In addition, if we fail to satisfy exchange continued listing standards, we could be de-listed, which would have a negative effect on the price of our ordinary shares.
We expect that the price of our ordinary shares will fluctuate substantially and you may not be able to sell your shares at or above the price you purchased the shares at.
The market price of our ordinary shares is likely to be highly volatile and may fluctuate substantially due to many factors, including:
|●||the volume and timing of sales of our products;|
|●||the introduction of new products or product enhancements by us or others in our industry;|
|●||disputes or other developments with respect to our or others’ intellectual property rights;|
|●||our ability to develop, obtain regulatory clearance or approval for, and market new and enhanced products on a timely basis;|
|●||product liability claims or other litigation;|
|●||quarterly variations in our results of operations or those of others in our industry;|
|●||media exposure of our products or of those of others in our industry;|
|●||changes in governmental regulations or in reimbursement;|
|●||changes in earnings estimates or recommendations by securities analysts; and|
|●||general market conditions and other factors, including factors unrelated to our operating performance or the operating performance of our competitors.|
In recent years, the stock markets generally have experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of those companies. Broad market and industry factors may significantly affect the market price of our ordinary shares, regardless of our actual operating performance.
In addition, in the past, class action litigation has often been instituted against companies whose securities have experienced periods of volatility in market price. Securities litigation brought against us following volatility in our stock price, regardless of the merit or ultimate results of such litigation, could result in substantial costs, which would hurt our financial condition and operating results and divert management’s attention and resources from our business.
Our ordinary shares are considered to be penny stock. Trading in penny stocks has certain restrictions and these restrictions could negatively affect the price and liquidity of our ordinary shares.
Our ordinary shares trade below $5.00 per share. The SEC has adopted regulations which generally define a “penny stock” to be any equity security that has a market price of less than $5.00 per share, subject to certain exceptions. As a result, our ordinary shares are considered “penny stock”. A penny stock is subject to rules that impose additional sales practice requirements on broker/dealers who sell securities to persons other than established Members and accredited investors. For transactions covered by these rules, the broker/dealer must make a special suitability determination for the purchase of these securities. In addition, a broker/dealer must receive the purchaser’s written consent to the transaction prior to the purchase and must also provide certain written disclosures to the purchaser. Consequently, the “penny stock” rules may restrict the ability of broker/dealers to sell our ordinary shares, and may negatively affect the ability of holders of shares of our ordinary shares to resell them. These disclosures require you to acknowledge that you understand the risks associated with buying penny stocks and that you can absorb the loss of your entire investment. Penny stocks generally do not have a very high trading volume. Consequently, the price of the stock is often volatile and you may not be able to buy or sell the stock when you want to.
Our directors, officers and principal shareholders have significant voting power and may take actions that may not be in the best interests of our other shareholders.
Our officers, directors and principal shareholders holding more than 5% of our ordinary shares, collectively, control approximately [5 ]% of our outstanding ordinary shares. As a result, these shareholders, if they act together, will be able to control the management and affairs of our Company and most matters requiring shareholder approval, including the election of directors and approval of significant corporate transactions. The interests of these shareholders may not be the same as or may even conflict with your interests. For example, these shareholders could attempt to delay or prevent a change in control of our Company, even if such change in control would benefit our other shareholders which could deprive our shareholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their ordinary shares as part of a sale of our Company or our assets, and might affect the prevailing market price of our ordinary shares due to investors’ perceptions that conflicts of interest may exist or arise. As a result, this concentration of ownership may not be in the best interests of our other shareholders.
Our disclosure controls and procedures may not prevent or detect all errors or acts of fraud.
We are subject to the periodic reporting requirements of the Exchange Act. We designed our disclosure controls and procedures to provide reasonable assurance that information we must disclose in reports we file or submit under the Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to management, and recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in the rules and forms of the SEC. We believe that any disclosure controls and procedures, no matter how well-conceived and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the objectives of the control system are met.
These inherent limitations include the realities that judgments in decision-making can be faulty, and that breakdowns can occur because of simple error or mistake. Additionally, controls can be circumvented by the individual acts of some persons, by collusion of two or more people or by an unauthorized override of the controls. Accordingly, because of the inherent limitations in our control system, misstatements due to error or fraud may occur and not be detected.
We have identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. If we fail to implement and maintain an effective system of internal control, we may be unable to accurately report our operating results, meet our reporting obligations or prevent fraud.
Prior to our initial public offering, we were a private company with limited accounting personnel and other resources with which to address our internal controls and procedures. As required by Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and related rules promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, our management conducted an assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2021. In preparing our consolidated financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2021, three material weaknesses were identified in our internal control over financial reporting, as defined in the standards established by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board of the United States, and other significant deficiencies. A “material weakness” is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the Company’s annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. The three material weaknesses identified are as follows: (i) no sufficient personnel with appropriate levels of accounting knowledge and experience to address complex U.S. GAAP accounting issues and to prepare and review financial statements and related disclosures under U.S. GAAP; (ii) ineffective oversight of our financial reporting and internal control by those charged with governance; and (iii) inadequate design of internal control over the preparation of the financial statements being audited. These material weaknesses remained as of December 31, 2021. As a result of inherent limitations, our internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements, errors or omissions.
We are now a public company in the United States subject to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires that we include a report of management on our internal control over financial reporting in our annual report on Form 20-F beginning with our annual report for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021. In addition, once we cease to be an “emerging growth company” as such term is defined under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or 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, 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 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, we may identify other weaknesses and deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting. In addition, if we fail to maintain the adequacy of our internal control over financial reporting, as these standards are modified, supplemented or amended from time to time, we may not be able to conclude on an ongoing basis that we have effective internal control over financial reporting in accordance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Generally, if we fail to achieve and maintain an effective internal control environment, we could suffer material misstatements, errors or omissions 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 limits our access to capital markets, and harm our results of operations. 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.
Because we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our capital stock in the foreseeable future, capital appreciation, if any, will be your sole source of gain.
We have never declared or paid cash dividends. We currently intend to retain all of our future earnings, if any, to finance the growth and development of our business. As a result, capital appreciation, if any, of our ordinary shares will be your sole source of gain for the foreseeable future.
Securities analysts may not publish favorable research or reports about our business or may publish no information at all, which could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline.
The trading market for our ordinary shares is influenced to some extent by the research and reports that industry or financial analysts publish about us and our business. We do not control these analysts. As a newly public company, we may be slow to attract research coverage and the analysts who publish information about our ordinary shares will have had relatively little experience with us or our industry, which could affect their ability to accurately forecast our results and could make it more likely that we fail to meet their estimates. If any of the analysts who cover us provides inaccurate or unfavorable research or issue an adverse opinion regarding our stock price, our stock price could decline. If one or more of these analysts cease coverage of us or fail to publish reports covering us regularly, we could lose visibility in the market, which in turn could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline and result in the loss of all or a part of your investment in us.
Recently introduced economic substance legislation of the Cayman Islands may impact us and our operations.
The Cayman Islands, together with several other non-European Union jurisdictions, have recently introduced legislation aimed at addressing concerns raised by the Council of the European Union as to offshore structures engaged in certain activities which attract profits without real economic activity. With effect from January 1, 2019, the International Tax Co-operation (Economic Substance) Law, 2018, or the Substance Law, and issued Regulations and Guidance Notes came into force in the Cayman Islands introducing certain economic substance requirements for “relevant entities” which are engaged in certain “relevant activities,” which in the case of exempted companies incorporated before January 1, 2019, will apply in respect of financial years commencing July 1, 2019 and onwards. A “relevant entity” includes an exempted company incorporated in the Cayman Islands; however, it does not include an entity that is tax resident outside the Cayman Islands. Accordingly, for so long as we are a tax resident outside the Cayman Islands, we are not required to satisfy the economic substance test. Although it is presently anticipated that the Substance Law will have little material impact on us and our operations, as the legislation is new and remains subject to further clarification and interpretation it is not currently possible to ascertain the precise impact of these legislative changes on us and our operations.
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 amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, the Companies Law (as amended) of the Cayman Islands 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 laws of the Cayman Islands are 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 or to obtain copies of lists of shareholders of these companies. Under our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, our directors have discretion to determine whether or not, and under what conditions, our corporate records may be inspected by our shareholders, but are not obliged to make them available to our shareholders. This may make it more difficult for you to obtain the information needed to establish any facts necessary for a shareholder motion or to solicit proxies from other shareholders in connection with a proxy contest.
Certain corporate governance practices in the Cayman Islands, where the Company is registered, differ significantly from requirements for companies incorporated in other jurisdictions such as the United States. Currently, we do not plan to rely on home country practice with respect to any corporate governance matter. To the extent we choose to follow home country practice with respect to corporate governance matters, our shareholders may be afforded less protection than they otherwise would under rules and regulations applicable to U.S. domestic issuers.
As a result of all of the above, our public shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in the face of actions taken by management, members of the board of directors or controlling shareholders than they would as public shareholders of a company incorporated in the United States.
Certain judgments obtained against us by our shareholders may not be enforceable.
We are a Cayman Islands company and substantially all of our assets are located outside of the United States. 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. Substantially all of the assets of these persons are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult or impossible for you to bring an action against us or against these individuals in the United States in the event that you believe that your rights have been infringed under the U.S. federal securities laws or otherwise. Even if you are successful in bringing an action of this kind, the laws of the Cayman Islands and of China may render you unable to enforce a judgment against our assets or the assets of our directors and officers.
We are an emerging growth company within the meaning of the Securities Act and may take advantage of certain reduced reporting requirements.
We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the JOBS Act, and we may take advantage of certain exemptions from requirements applicable to other public companies that are not emerging growth companies, including, most significantly, not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 for so long as we remain an emerging growth company. As a result, if we elect not to comply with such auditor attestation requirements, our investors may not have access to certain information they may deem important.
The JOBS Act also provides that an emerging growth company does not need to comply with any new or revised financial accounting standards until such date that a private company is otherwise required to comply with such new or revised accounting standards. We do not plan to “opt out” of such exemptions afforded to an emerging growth company. As a result of this election, our financial statements may not be comparable to companies that comply with public company effective data.
We qualify as a foreign private issuer and, as a result, we are not subject to U.S. proxy rules and are subject to Exchange Act reporting obligations that permit less detailed and less frequent reporting than that of a U.S. domestic public company.
We report under the Exchange Act as a non-U.S. company with foreign private issuer status. Because we qualify as a foreign private issuer under the Exchange Act, we are exempt from certain provisions of the Exchange Act that are applicable to U.S. domestic public companies, including (i) the sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies, consents or authorizations in respect of a security registered under the Exchange Act; (ii) 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 (iii) the rules under the Exchange Act requiring the filing with the SEC of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q containing unaudited financial and other specified information, or current reports on Form 8-K upon the occurrence of specified significant events. In addition, our officers, directors and principal shareholders are exempt from the reporting and “short-swing” profit recovery provisions of Section 16 of the Exchange Act and the rules thereunder. Therefore, our shareholders may not know on a timely basis when our officers, directors and principal shareholders purchase or sell our ordinary shares. In addition, foreign private issuers are not required to file their annual report on Form 20-F until 120 days after the end of each fiscal year, while U.S. domestic issuers that are accelerated filers are required to file their annual report on Form 10-K within 75 days after the end of each fiscal year. Foreign private issuers also are exempt from Regulation Fair Disclosure, aimed at preventing issuers from making selective disclosures of material information. As a result of the above, you may not have the same protections afforded to shareholders of companies that are not foreign private issuers.
If we lose our status as a foreign private issuer, we would be required to comply with the Exchange Act reporting and other requirements applicable to U.S. domestic issuers, which are more detailed and extensive than the requirements for foreign private issuers. We may also be required to make changes in our corporate governance practices in accordance with various SEC and Nasdaq rules. The regulatory and compliance costs to us under U.S. securities laws if we are required to comply with the reporting requirements applicable to a U.S. domestic issuer may be significantly higher than the cost we would incur as a foreign private issuer. As a result, we expect that a loss of foreign private issuer status would increase our legal and financial compliance costs and would make some activities highly time consuming and costly. We also expect that if we were required to comply with the rules and regulations applicable to U.S. domestic issuers, it would make it more difficult and expensive for us to obtain and maintain directors’ and officers’ liability insurance, and we may be required to accept reduced coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain coverage. These rules and regulations could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified members of our board of directors.
As a foreign private issuer, we are permitted to adopt certain home country practices in relation to corporate governance matters that differ significantly from Nasdaq corporate governance listing standards. These practices may afford less protection to shareholders than they would enjoy if we complied fully with corporate governance listing standards.
As a foreign private issuer, we are permitted to take advantage of certain provisions in the Nasdaq rules that allow us to follow our home country law for certain governance matters. Certain corporate governance practices in our home country, the Cayman Islands, may differ significantly from corporate governance listing standards. Currently, we do not plan to rely on home country practice with respect to our corporate governance. However, if we choose to follow home country practice in the future, our shareholders may be afforded less protection than they would otherwise enjoy under the Nasdaq corporate governance listing standards applicable to U.S. domestic issuers.
There can be no assurance that we will not be a passive foreign investment company, or PFIC, for U.S. federal income tax purposes for any taxable year, which could result in adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to U.S. holders of our ordinary shares.
A non-U.S. corporation will be a PFIC for any taxable year if either (1) at least 75% of its gross income for such year consists of certain types of “passive” income; or (2) at least 50% of the value of its assets (based on an average of the quarterly values of the assets) during such year is attributable to assets that produce passive income or are held for the production of passive income (the “asset test”). Based on our current and expected income and assets (taking into account the expected cash proceeds and our market capitalization), we do not presently expect to be a PFIC for the current taxable year or the foreseeable future. However, no assurance can be given in this regard because the determination of whether we are or will become a PFIC is a fact-intensive inquiry made on an annual basis that depends, in part, upon the composition of our income and assets. In addition, there can be no assurance that the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, will agree with our conclusion or that the IRS would not successfully challenge our position. Fluctuations in the market price of our ordinary shares may cause us to become a PFIC for the current or subsequent taxable years because the value of our assets for the purpose of the asset test may be determined by reference to the market price of our ordinary shares. The composition of our income and assets may also be affected by how, and how quickly, we use our liquid assets and the cash raised in our initial public offering. If we were to be or become a PFIC for any taxable year during which a U.S. Holder holds our ordinary shares, certain adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences could apply to such U.S. Holder. See “Taxation— Passive Foreign Investment Company Consequences.”
We may lose our foreign private issuer status in the future, which could result in significant additional costs and expenses.
As discussed above, we are a foreign private issuer, and therefore, we are not required to comply with all of the periodic disclosure and current reporting requirements of the Exchange Act. The determination of foreign private issuer status is made annually on the last business day of an issuer’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter. We would lose our foreign private issuer status if, for example, more than 50% of our ordinary shares are directly or indirectly held by residents of the United States and we fail to meet additional requirements necessary to maintain our foreign private issuer status. If we lose our foreign private issuer status on this date, we will be required to file with the SEC periodic reports and registration statements on U.S. domestic issuer forms, which are more detailed and extensive than the forms available to a foreign private issuer. We will also have to mandatorily comply with U.S. federal proxy requirements, and our officers, directors and principal shareholders will become subject to the short-swing profit disclosure and recovery provisions of Section 16 of the Exchange Act. In addition, we will lose our ability to rely upon exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements under the Nasdaq rules. As a U.S. listed public company that is not a foreign private issuer, we will incur significant additional legal, accounting and other expenses that we will not incur as a foreign private issuer, and accounting, reporting and other expenses in order to maintain a listing on a U.S. securities exchange.
ITEM 4. INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY
|A. History and Development of the Company|
Our company, Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology, or Blue Hat, is a holding company incorporated on June 13, 2018 under the laws of the Cayman Islands.
Blue Hat has no operations. It holds all of the issued and outstanding shares of Brilliant Hat Limited, or Blue Hat BVI, established under the laws of the British Virgin Islands on June 26, 2018.
Blue Hat BVI is also a holding company holding all of the outstanding equity of Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology Limited, or Blue Hat HK, which was established in Hong Kong on June 26, 2018. Blue Hat HK is also a holding company holding all of the outstanding equity of Xiamen Duwei Consulting Management Co., Ltd., or Blue Hat WFOE, which was established on July 26, 2018 under the laws of the PRC.
Blue Hat WFOE through our variable interest entity, or VIE, Fujian Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology Ltd., or Blue Hat Fujian, a PRC company, and through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Hunan Engaomei Animation Culture Development Co., Ltd., or Blue Hat Hunan, a PRC company, engages in designing, producing, promoting and selling animated toys with mobile games features, original intellectual property and peripheral derivatives features worldwide.
On September 18, 2017, Blue Hat Fujian formed a joint venture with Xiamen Youth Education Development Co., Ltd. and Youying Wang, contributing a 48.5% equity interest in Fujian Youth Hand in Hand Educational Technology Co., Ltd., or Fujian Youth, a PRC company. On January 22, 2021, Xiamen Youth Education Development Co., Ltd and Youying Wang transferred all their equity interests to Blue Hat WOFE. Therefore, combining Blue Hat Fujian, and Blue Hat WOFE, right now they own all the equity interests of Fujian Youth. As of December 31, 2021, Fujian Youth had normal operations.
October 19, 2017, Blue Hat Fujian established its wholly owned subsidiary, Shenyang Qimengxing Trading Co. Ltd., or Blue Hat Shenyang, a PRC company. On November 15, 2021, it deregistered Shenyang Qimengxing Trading Co. Ltd.
On January 25, 2018, Blue Hat Fujian established its wholly owned subsidiary, Chongqing Lanhui Technology Co. Ltd., or Blue Hat Chongqing, a PRC company. As of December 31, 2019, Blue Hat Chongqing had no operations. On December 14, 2020, it deregistered Chongqing Lanhui Technology Co. Ltd.
On September 10, 2018, Blue Hat Fujian established its wholly owned subsidiary, Pingxiang Blue Hat Technology Co. Ltd., or Blue Hat Pingxiang, a PRC company. Blue Hat Pingxiang also engages in designing, producing, promoting and selling interactive toys with mobile games features, original intellectual property and peripheral derivatives features worldwide.
On September 20, 2018, Blue Hat Fujian formed a joint venture with Fujian Jin Ge Tie Ma Information Technology Co., contributing a 15.0% equity interest in Xiamen Blue Wave Technology Co. Ltd., or Xiamen Blue Wave, a PRC company.
On October 16, 2018, Blue Hat Fujian formed a joint venture with Renchao Huyu (Shanghai) Culture Development Co. Ltd., contributing a 49% ownership interest in Renchao Huyu (Shanghai) Culture Propagation Co. Ltd., or Renchao Huyu, with the remaining 51% ownership owned by Renchao Huyu (Shanghai) Culture Development Co. Ltd.
On November 13, 2018, Blue Hat completed a reorganization of entities under common control of its then existing shareholders, who collectively owned a majority of the equity interests of Blue Hat prior to the reorganization. Blue Hat, Blue Hat BVI, and Blue Hat HK were established as the holding companies of Blue Hat WFOE. Blue Hat WFOE is the primary beneficiary of Blue Hat Fujian and its subsidiaries, and all of these entities included in Blue Hat are under common control which results in the consolidation of Blue Hat Fujian and subsidiaries which have been accounted for as a reorganization of entities under common control at carrying value. The consolidated financial statements are prepared on the basis as if the reorganization became effective as of the beginning of the first period presented in the consolidated financial statements.
On March 31, 2020, the Company established its wholly owned subsidiary, Xiamen Jiuqiao Technology Co., Ltd. (“Jiuqiao”), a PRC company. Jiuqiao engages in designing, producing, producing, promoting and selling interactive toys with mobile games features, original intellectual property, peripheral derivatives features worldwide and also providing consultation service. On December 20, 2021, the Company transferred out all its equity interests in Jiuqiao for $922,468.
On August 3, 2020, the Company acquired 60% of Xunpusen (Xiamen) Technology Co., Ltd. (“Xunpusen”) which providing telecommunication service and internet access. On September 20, 2021, the Company transferred out all its equity interests in Xunpusen for $1,333,023.33 (RMB 8,600,000).
On December 24, 2020, the Company deregistered Chongqing Lanhui Technology Co. Ltd.,
On January 25, 2021, Blue Hat Cayman closed an acquisition pursuant to which it acquired 100% equity interests of Fresh Joy Entertainment Ltd. (“Fresh Joy”). Fresh joy signed a series of VIE agreements with Fujian Roar Game Technology Co., Ltd. (“Fujian Roar Game”). Fujian Roar Game holds 51% equity of Fuzhou CSFCTECH Co., Ltd. (“Fuzhou CSFC”) and 100% equity of Fuzhou UC71 Co., Ltd. (“Fuzhou UC71”). After the acquisition, we now have two VIEs including Blue Hat Fujian, and Fujian Roar Game.
On February 20, 2021, the Company established a wholly owned subsidiary, Xiamen Bluehat Research Institution of Education Co., Ltd.
On March, 24, 2021, Fuzhou Qiande Educational Technology Co., Ltd was incorporated and was 100% owned by Fujian Youth hand in Hand Educational Technology Co., Ltd.
On June 29, 2021, Fujian Lanyun Canghai Technology Co., Ltd was incorporated and was 100% owned by Blue Hat Fujian.
On August 23, 2021, Fujian Blue Hat Group Co. Ltd. was incorporated and was owned by Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology Limited.
Due to legal restrictions on foreign ownership and investment in, among other areas, the production, development and operation of AR interactive entertainment games and toys in China, including interactive educational materials, mobile games, and toys with mobile game features, the Company operates its businesses in which foreign investment is restricted or prohibited in the PRC through certain PRC domestic companies. As such, Blue Hat Fujian and Fujian Roar Game are controlled through contractual arrangements in lieu of direct equity ownership by the Company or any of its subsidiaries. Such contractual arrangements consist of a series of three agreements, along with shareholders’ powers of attorney (“POAs”) and irrevocable commitment letters (collectively the “Contractual Arrangements”).
The significant terms of the Contractual Arrangements are as follows:
Exclusive Business Cooperation Agreements
Pursuant to the exclusive business cooperation agreement between variables interest entities, including Blue Hat WFOE and Blue Hat Fujian, Fresh Joy and Fujian Roar Game, variable interest entities equity holders has the exclusive right to provide our wholly owned entities with technical support services, consulting services and other services, including technical support, technical assistance, technical consulting, and professional training necessary for our wholly owned entities’ operation, network support, database support, software services, business management consulting, grant use rights of intellectual property rights, lease hardware and device, provide system integration service, research and development of software and system maintenance, provide labor support and to develop the related technologies based on wholly owned entities’ needs. In exchange, variable interest entities equity holders are entitled to a service fee that equals to all of the consolidated net income after offsetting previous year’s loss (if any) of wholly owned entity. The service fee may be adjusted by variable interest entity equity holders based on the actual scope of services rendered by variable interest entities equity holders and the operational needs and expanding demands of our wholly owned entities.
Pursuant to the exclusive business cooperation agreement, variable interest entities equity holders have the unilateral right to adjust the service fee at any time, and our wholly owned entities have no right to adjust the service fee. We believe that such conditions under which the service fee may be adjusted will be primarily based on the needs of our wholly owned entities to operate and develop its business in the augmented reality market. For example, if wholly owned entities need to expand its business, increase research input or consummate mergers or acquisitions in the future, variable interest entities equity holders have the right to decrease the amount of the service fee, which would allow our wholly owned entities to have additional capital to operate and develop its business in the augmented reality market.
The exclusive business cooperation agreement remains effective for 10 years, and shall be automatically renewed for one year at the expiration date of the validity term. However, variable interest entity equity holders have the right to terminate this agreement upon giving 30 days’ prior written notice to wholly owned entity at any time.
Call Option Agreements
Pursuant to the call option agreements, among variable interest entities equity holders, our wholly owned entities and the shareholders who collectively owned all of the wholly owned subsidiaries, such shareholders jointly and severally grant variable interest entities equity holders an option to purchase their equity interests in our wholly owned entities. The purchase price shall be the lowest price then permitted under applicable PRC laws. Variable interest entities equity holders or the designated person may exercise such option at any time to purchase all or part of the equity interests in wholly owned entity until they have acquired all equity interests of our wholly owned entity, which is irrevocable during the term of the agreements.
The call option agreements remain in effect until November 13, 2028 and December 2030 for Blue Hat Fujian and Fujian Roar Game respectively, and shall be automatically renewed for one year at the expiration date of the validity term. However, variable interest entity equities holders have the right to terminate these agreements upon giving 30 days’ prior written notice to our wholly owned entities at any time.
Equity Pledge Agreements
Pursuant to the equity pledge agreement, among variable interest entities equity holders, our wholly owned entities, and the shareholders who collectively owned all of our wholly owned entities, such shareholders pledge all of the equity interests in our wholly owned entities to variable interest entities equity holders as collateral to secure the obligations of our wholly owned entities under the exclusive business cooperation agreements and call option agreements. These shareholders are prohibited from transferring the pledged equity interests without the prior consent of variable interest entities equity holders unless transferring the equity interests to Blue Hat WFOE, Fresh Joy or its designated person in accordance to the call option agreements.
The equity pledge agreements shall come into force the date on which the pledged interests is recorded, under our wholly owned entity register of shareholders and is registered with competent administration for industry and commerce of our wholly owned subsidiary until all of the liabilities and debts to variable interest entities equity holders have been fulfilled completely by our wholly owned entity. Our wholly owned entities and the shareholders who collectively owned all of our wholly owned entities shall not terminate these agreements in any circumstance for any reason. However, variable interest entities equity holders have the right to terminate these agreements upon giving 30 days’ prior written notice to our wholly owned entities at any time.
Shareholders’ Powers of Attorney (“POAs”)
Pursuant to the shareholders’ POAs, the shareholders of our wholly owned entity give variable interest entities equity holders an irrevocable proxy to act on their behalf on all matters pertaining to our wholly owned entities and to exercise all of their rights as shareholders of our wholly owned entities, including the right to attend shareholders meeting, to exercise voting rights and all of the other rights, and to sign transfer documents and any other documents in relation to the fulfillment of the obligations under the call option agreements and the equity pledge agreements. The shareholders’ POAs shall remain in effect while the shareholders of our wholly owned entities hold the equity interests in our wholly owned entities.
Irrevocable Commitment Letters
Pursuant to the irrevocable commitment letters, the shareholders of our wholly owned entities commit that their spouses or inheritors have no right to claim any rights or interest in relation to the shares that they hold in our wholly owned entities and have no right to impose any impact on the daily managing duties of our wholly owned entities, and commit that if any event which refrains them from exercising shareholders’ rights as a registered shareholder, such as death, incapacity, divorce or any other event, could happen to them, the shareholders of our wholly owned entity will take corresponding measures to guarantee the rights of other registered shareholders and the performance of the Contractual Arrangements. The letters are irrevocable and shall not be withdrawn without the consent of variable interest entity equities holders.
Based on the foregoing contractual arrangements, which grant variable interest entities equity holders effective control of our wholly owned entities and enable variable interest entities equity holders to receive all of their expected residual returns, the Company accounts for Blue Hat Fujian and Fujian Roar Game as VIEs. Accordingly, the Company consolidates the accounts of Blue Hat Fujian and Fujian Roar Game for the periods presented herein, in accordance with Regulation S-X-3A-02 promulgated by the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”), and Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 810-10, Consolidation.
On July 30, 2019, we completed our initial public offering, and since July 26, 2019, our ordinary shares have been listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “BHAT”.
Our principal executive office is located at 7th Floor, Building C, No. 1010 Anling Road, Huli District, Xiamen, China 361009. Our telephone number is 86-592-228-0081. Our registered office in the Cayman Islands is located at the offices of Walkers Corporate Limited, Cayman Corporate Centre, 27 Hospital Road, George Town, Grand Cayman KY1-9008, Cayman Islands.
The SEC maintains a website that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC on www.sec.gov. You can also find information on our website located at http://www.irbluehatgroup.com. Information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not a part of, and shall not be incorporated by reference into, this annual report.
We have not had any material commitments for capital expenditures for the last three financial years.
B. Business Overview
We are a producer, developer and operator of augmented reality, or AR, interactive entertainment games and toys in China, including interactive educational materials, mobile games, toys with mobile game features, and Immersive Education Classes and recently we expanded into the Internet Data Center (IDC) business. Our mobile-connected entertainment platform enables us to connect physical items to mobile devices through wireless technologies, creating a unique interactive user experience. Our goal is to create a rich visual and interactive environment for users through the integration of real objects and virtual scenery. We believe this combination provides users with a more natural form of human-computer interaction and enhances users’ perception of reality, thus providing a more diversified entertainment experience. By leveraging our strong technological capabilities and infrastructure, we believe we are able to deliver a superior user experience and conduct our operations in a highly efficient manner.
The core of our business is our proprietary technology. Our patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights serve to distinguish our products, protect our products from infringement, and contribute to our competitive advantages. To secure the value of our technology and developments, we are aggressive in pursuing a combination of patent, trademark and copyright protection for our proprietary technologies. As of January 27, 2022, our intellectual property portfolio included 215 authorized patents, 14 applications for PCT international patents, 738 artistic copyrights, 51 patents pending in various stages of the application process, 13 applications for PCT international patents, 90 registered trademarks and 96 software copyrights.
We strive to create an engaging, interactive and immersive community for users of our products. The majority of our users are among the young Chinese generation between the ages of 3 and 23, although many of our products appeal to users outside of this demographic. We intend to further penetrate the Chinese market with new products that will target users ages 14 and above. Specifically, our strategies include marketing Fidolle, a ball-jointed “smart doll”, and QI, a gaming and entertainment platform designed for both family home use and amusement arcades. We believe our high-quality content is a magnet for users with common interests to connect, interact and share their passions on our platform, which helps to cultivate a strong sense of belonging, effectively strengthening our user retention. In the meantime, we are licensed to sell products with “WUHUANGWANSHUI” brand images. We are also developing our IDC business. As for educational products, we provide our Augmented Reality Immersive Classes (“ARIC”) to pre-schools and plan to work closely with these schools to integrate our digital solutions with a new STEAM-focused curriculum for young students. We believe our high-quality content attracts users with common interests to connect and share their passion on our platform, which cultivates a strong sense of belonging and effectively strengthens our user retention.
Our products resemble traditional children’s toys - including cars, ladybugs, picture books, and dolls - which are enabled with wireless technology to facilitate a broad variety of interactive functions. The interactive functionality of our products broadens the user experience, creates a communicative environment, and facilitates an ongoing relationship between us and our end users and between our end users and our products. We believe such an immersive entertainment experience allows our users to build strong emotional connections to our products, resulting in our products typically having longer life cycles than traditional toys.
Our proprietary technology, product research and development, marketing channels and brand operation are the cornerstones of our business. We focus on the combination of “online” and “offline” activity and the interaction between “entertainment” and “product” to create a high-tech entertainment platform combining mobile games and AR. With the help of computer graphics and visualization technologies, we are able to accurately “place” virtual objects into the physical world, thus creating a new and stimulating visual environment for our users.
For information on our financial performance, see “Item 5.A. Operating Results.”
We currently offer the following primary AR interactive product lines: AR Racer, AR Crazy Bug, AR 3D Magic Box, AR Dinosaur, “Talking Tom and Friends” Bouncing Bubble, AR Shake Bouncing Bubble, “WUHUANGWANSHUI” authorized products, Immersive Education Classes and IDC business.
AR Racer is a car-racing mobile game played using a physical toy car stuck onto the user’s mobile device screen using non-adhesive materials. Blue Hat’s photosensitive recognition technology allows the toy car to be used as a controller, so that users can virtually race one another via the simulated racing track, as well as engage in individual races. In addition, we developed a new generation product, the “Mini Car” series, that retains the car model attributes and the original AR interactive function, while upgrading the gameplay, structure and aesthetics of the game.
AR Crazy Bug
AR Crazy Bug is an exciting combat game played using a ladybug-shaped electronic toy. Blue Hat’s infrared induction technology allows the user to control the toy’s movement via their mobile device for game play in battle dynamics, while simultaneously moving the toy in reality. The mobile device shows virtual enemies while also capturing the position of the toy in the real world, allowing the user to approach or escape its combatants.
AR 3D Magic Box
AR 3D Magic Box has the unique ability to transport children’s drawings into diverse backgrounds, giving the user a discovery-based experience. AR 3D Magic Box uses AR recognition technology to allow children to draw shapes or objects onto a physical card while the mobile game captures the drawings and animates them onto a set background, for example, under the sea.
AR Dinosaur is an educational toy that comes in a variety of five different types of dinosaur, each of which has their own personality and emotions. Through interacting with the toy and its accompanying mobile app, children can learn a wealth of information about dinosaurs. The product comes with five physical “AR cards”, which when placed under the toy will activate its AR features.
“Talking Tom and Friends” Bouncing Bubble
Bouncing Bubble is a product designed using environmentally-friendly and toxic-free liquid, allowing for larger, stronger bubbles that won’t easily pop. Children can bounce these bubbles using a paddle or gloves as if they were ping pong balls. The new “Talking Tom and Friends” Bouncing Bubble product range features images of characters from the universe of the globally renowned “Talking Tom and Friends” media franchise.
AR Shake Bouncing Bubble
AR Shake Bouncing Bubble is a product developed in 2020. The product is known for its soothing interface and magical background music. It contains an exclusive structural design of Blue Hat. The AR interactive software has been shown to help to improve children’s concentration and reaction. Children can also use regular bubble liquid to blow bubbles.
WUHUANGWANSHUI Authorized Products
“WUHUANGWANSHUI” is a famous brand for Chinese cartoon images that consist of a cat (Wu Huang) and a dog (Ba Zahey). The brand is owned by Cup of Cosmo Studio (Beijing) Culture Co., Ltd., and is easily recognizable in Chinese popular culture. Primarily seen in cartoon images, comics, animations and emoticon packages, “WUHUANGWANSHUI” has over 30 million followers online, which brings over RMB 2 billion in licensed product sales. We are licensed to use “WUHUANGWANSHUI” images on our products and our e-commerce website. We expect to launch approximately 20 interactive toys with the licensed images in the near future.
Immersive Education Classes
Immersive Education Classes are Blue Hat’s range of immersive educational products that utilize AR technology to create a dynamic and engaging model for teaching in China’s preschools, including “Smart Screen Immersive Education Classes”, “Smart Immersive Physical Education Classes” and “Smart Immersive Cognitive Education Classes.” The three products are suitable for different teaching scenarios and can be used independently or together with one another to promote children’s overall development.
“Smart Screen Immersive Education Classes” use a projector to cast education-related content and games onto the classroom wall. Activities featured within the product aim to improve students’ hand-eye coordination and analytical abilities, and students are guided by teachers trained in the product’s use. After students have completed a task, their results are shown on the screen and specific feedback for improvement is provided.
“Smart Immersive Physical Education Classes” integrate a projector and motion-capture system to project activities and games onto the floor of the teaching area. Students who participate in activities are required to imitate movements and react in time, while competing or coordinating with others for the best score. Data is analyzed simultaneously for each student, with feedback, including scores and suggestions for improvement, that can be reviewed by teachers and parents. All activities are carefully guided by teachers trained in the product’s use.
“Smart Immersive Cognitive Education Classes” offer a wide variety of AR-enabled tasks designed to exercise the cognitive abilities of children between the ages of three and six years old by projecting images and activities onto a classroom tabletop. As the images projected on the tabletop react to children’s movements, they can learn for themselves, with feedback, including scores and suggestions for improvement, projected onto the table after completion. A tabletop can be used by up to six children at one time, supporting both independent learning and group activities or competitions. The product’s content has been designed by our in-house team of educational experts and all activities are carefully guided by teachers trained in the product’s use.
“AR Immersive Class” (“ARIC”) offers full collection of our immersive educational products that utilize AR technology to create a dynamic and engaging model to teach preschoolers in China. With our proprietary AR technology, the ARIC greatly enriches children’s learning experience and enables educators to track and analyze students’ progress.
Xunpusen, a subsidiary of our company, recently signed a cooperation agreement with China Mobile Communications Group Guangdong Co., Ltd. (“China Mobile”) for a series of telecom value-added services relating to Internet Data Center (“IDC”). IDC hosts a group of hosting providers, merchants, or web servers. It is an infrastructure that ensures e-commerce websites operate securely. It also helps businesses and their alliances to implement value chain management for their distributors, suppliers and customers. Namely, IDC related services enable big companies to promote and sell products with Xunpusen’s message marketing services and integrated solutions. Although the revenue of our IDC business has increased, with lightening policies promulgated by MIIT in recent years which leads to the decreased profit margin, we have sold our IDC business in 2021.
Sales and Marketing
Our marketing operations consist of a planning department, a sales department, an e-commerce department and a product department. We are in the process of expanding our e-commerce sales team, and we are transitioning from single, offline promotional activities to diversified, online interactive marketing and digital marketing. We intend to increase our branding and advertising activities via online communities, social media and television, thus increasing our brand awareness.
We have an experienced sales team with more than 12 staff members, many of which have several years of sales experience. Currently, our sales are primarily derived from developed eastern regions of China such as Jiangsu and Zhejiang. We intend to expand into more diverse regions of China in an effort to increase our market share. Currently, we have four subsidiaries located in Fuzhou, Hunan and Fujian, responsible for sales and marketing.
We intend to continue building our salesforce and enhancing our sales power. We plan to penetrate the market further through our physical presence in stores and our e-commerce platforms. We also plan to establish flexible and diversified sales channels. For sales in China, we plan to continue to use distributors and our sales team will engage e-commerce channels. We also intend to continue to partner with provincial Chinese distributors to expand both our online and offline sales channels and to further infiltrate sales regions.
We believe that the key factors influencing our sales patterns are as follows:
|●||Consumer Groups – We believe that China’s extensive population base demonstrates the market potential in China. We believe that demand for AR interactive toys will continue to expand as China’s population continues to grow.|
|●||Consumption Patterns and Consumption Habits – We believe that the development and increasing popularity of mobile payment systems and applications, internet and e-commerce shopping, along with the rapid growth of the Chinese social economy have greatly impacted the consumption patterns of Chinese society. Increased consumption habits of the general public allow for significant growth of AR products as people are more likely to spend money on entertainment, particularly entertainment that operates on the same wireless technology platforms as their computers and mobile devices, such as our products.|
|●||Seasonal Factors – The majority of our sales typically occur in the second half of the year during traditional Chinese holidays due to promotional activities and increased sales that typically accompany holiday shopping.|
Our long-term branding development plan centers around brand recognition and increasing our brand awareness through the use of branding strategies such as market surveys, series designs and after-sales investigations. Our goal is to obtain a thorough understanding of user preferences and purchasing trends in order to increase confidence in our product quality, heighten brand loyalty, and increase the overall value of our brand. We intend to alter our product designs to meet consumers’ needs and adjust to market changes accordingly.
As discussed, we are in the process of expanding our brand to physical experience stores in order to engage consumers, create user loyalty and introduce new users to our products. We are leveraging our experience and insight into traditional toy and gaming industries and our strength in AR technologies to build experience stores that provide customers with a variety of AR interactive activities, as well as a location to purchase AR interactive toys.
We emphasize the importance of quality and safety in our products throughout our product life cycle. During the product development stage, our specialized quality control engineers submit sample products for inspection before the products leave our on-site studio. Each product design also undergoes stringent tests for sample confirmation and material selection before any orders are placed with suppliers. All product changes are repeatedly tested repeatedly and fully verified before production is altered accordingly.
Our manufacturers are selected based on their productivity and are then evaluated based on our production requirements, including management needs, technical skills, file management, quality control, and company size. After a supplier is examined and confirmed by each of our relevant departments, it will be included in our supplier directory. We also conduct field assessments of our long-term suppliers from time to time.
Our products also undergo a series of quality inspections throughout the manufacturing process, including material confirmation, initial workpiece inspection, process inspection and delivery inspection. All of our products currently comply with China 3C standards, China’s toy industry safety standards, as revised on January 1, 2016 by GB6675-2003 National Toy’s Safety Technical Specifications, and the American Society for Testing and Materials standards.
The core of our business is our proprietary technology. As a result, we strive to maintain a robust intellectual property portfolio. Our patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights serve to distinguish and protect our products from infringement and contribute to our competitive advantages. To secure the value of our technology and developments, we are aggressive in pursuing a combination of patent, trademark, and copyright protection for our proprietary technologies. As of January 27, 2022, our intellectual property portfolio included 207 authorized patents, 14 applications for PCT international patents, 738 artistic copyrights,51 patents pending in various stages of the application process, 13 applications for PCT international patents, 90 registered trademarks and91 software copyrights.
Research and Development
We believe the key to success in the AR interactive toy market is research and development. As such, we have invested, and intend to continue to invest, substantial resources in the research and development of AR interactive technologies. We maintain two high quality research and development teams responsible for hardware and software design. Both research and development teams consist of 35 AR specialists, including many top talented individuals in the AR field, and are led by individuals with experience from China’s prominent internet game developers and operators. Approximately13 members of our research and development team are based in Xiamen, mainly focusing on the research and development of electronic toys, AR games and products for licensing. Approximately 22 members of our research and development team are based at our Fuzhou branch, focusing on mobile games and AR game research and development. We also cooperate with several third party research and development teams. For example, we are partnering with Fujian Normal University Embedded Development Laboratory on the development of our Qi Platform. For example, we provide the funding for the project with Fujian Normal University, and in turn, we are able to use the facilities of Fujian Normal University and retain the intellectual property developed during the project.
Our research and development process for a new or enhanced product typically starts with our research and development team brainstorming with our marketing and sales team to create new ideas and designs containing popular elements. Our marketing and sales team will gather information about the market demand from distributors through exhibitions that they attend. Our marketing and sales team and our research and development team will hold meetings to discuss and summarize the information and determine which potential products they expect to be popular among existing and new customers. Our research and development team will then determine the feasibility of the proposed new products. From time to time, our research and development team will generate ideas for new products from a technological perspective and communicate such ideas with the marketing and sales team. These ideas are then presented to our senior management team for approval. If the proposal is approved by senior management, the Company will officially establish the project of developing the new product.
Our standard research and development cycle per product is approximately eight months. Initial product development usually takes two to three months in order to produce quality product samples. For product samples put into production, it usually takes an additional four to eight months for further development and design.
Our research and development department is currently focusing on the further advancement of the technology used in our products, including photosensitive induction technology, gesture-sensor technology, infrared induction technology and AR identification technology. We have invested, and will continue to invest, substantial resources in our research and development activities, including technology and game development.
Our business is characterized by innovation, rapid change and disruptive technology. We compete with AR interactive toy companies located around the world, and we may also face competition from new and emerging companies, including new competitors from the PRC. We consider our principal competitors to be those companies that provide educational AR game products to the market, including Shanghai Putao Technology Co., Ltd. and Sphero, Inc. We also compete with Nintendo of America Inc.’s amiibo product line.
Compared to our company, our current and potential competitors may have:
|●||better established credibility and market reputations, longer operating histories, and broader product offerings;|
|●||significantly greater financial, technical, marketing and other resources, which may allow them to pursue design, development, manufacturing, sales, marketing, distribution and service support of their products;|
|●||multiple product offerings, which may enable them to offer bundled discounts for customers purchasing multiple products or other incentives that we cannot match or offer.|
The principal competitive factors in our market include:
|●||brand recognition and reputation;|
|●||ability to build customer loyalty, retain existing users and attract new users;|
|●||continually-evolving innovation and research and development; and|
|●||the performance and reliability of products and platforms.|
We believe we compete favorably with respect to the factors described above.
Legal Regulations on Intellectual Property in the PRC
Pursuant to the Copyright Law of the PRC, which was first promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on September 7, 1990 and became effective from June 1, 1991, and was last amended on November 11, 2020 and became effective as of June 1, 2021, copyrights include personal rights such as the right of publication and that of attribution as well as property rights such as the right of production and that of distribution. Reproducing, distributing, performing, projecting, broadcasting or compiling a work or communicating the same to the public via an information network without permission from the owner of the copyright therein, unless otherwise provided in the Copyright Law of the PRC, shall constitute infringements of copyrights. The infringer shall, according to the circumstances of the case, undertake to cease the infringement, take remedial action, and offer an apology, pay damages, etc.
Pursuant to the Trademark Law of the PRC, which was promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on August 23, 1982 and became effective from March 1, 1983, and was most recently amended on April 23, 2019 and became effective on November 1, 2019, the right to exclusive use of a registered trademark shall be limited to trademarks which have been approved for registration and to goods for which the use of such trademark has been approved. The period of validity of a registered trademark shall be ten years, counted from the day the registration is approved. According to this law, using a trademark that is identical to or similar to a registered trademark in connection with the same or similar goods without the authorization of the owner of the registered trademark constitutes an infringement of the exclusive right to use a registered trademark. The infringer shall, in accordance with the regulations, undertake to cease the infringement, take remedial action, and pay damages, etc.
Pursuant to the Patent Law of the PRC, which was promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on March 12, 1984 and became effective from April 1, 1985, and was most recently amended on December 27, 2008, and was most recently amended on October 17, 2020 and became effective on June 1, 2021, after the grant of the patent right for an invention or utility model, except where otherwise provided for in the Patent Law, no entity or individual may, without the authorization of the patent owner, exploit the patent, that is, make, use, offer to sell, sell or import the patented product, or use the patented process, or use, offer to sell, sell or import any product which is a direct result of the use of the patented process, for production or business purposes. And after a patent right is granted for a design, no entity or individual shall, without the permission of the patent owner, exploit the patent, that is, for production or business purposes, manufacture, offer to sell, sell, or import any product containing the patented design. Where the infringement of patent is decided, the infringer shall, in accordance with the regulations, undertake to cease the infringement, take remedial action, and pay damages, etc.
Pursuant to the Measures for the Administration of Internet Domain Names, which was recently amended by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on August 24, 2017 and became effective on November 1, 2017, “domain name” shall refer to the character mark of hierarchical structure, which identifies and locates a computer on the internet and corresponds to the internet protocol (IP) address of that computer, and the principle of “first come, first serve” is followed for the domain name registration service. After completing the domain name registration, the applicant becomes the holder of the domain name registered by him/it. Furthermore, the holder shall pay operation fees for registered domain names on schedule. If the domain name holder fails to pay the corresponding fees as required, the original domain name registrar shall write it off and notify the holder of the domain name in written form.
Legal Regulations on Labor Protection in the PRC
According to the Labor Law of the PRC, or the Labor Law, which was promulgated by the Standing Committee of the NPC on July 5, 1994, came into effect on January 1, 1995, and was most recently amended on December 29, 2018, an employer shall develop and improve its rules and regulations to safeguard the rights of its workers. An employer shall develop and improve its labor safety and health system, stringently implement national protocols and standards on labor safety and health, conduct labor safety and health education for workers, guard against labor accidents and reduce occupational hazards. Labor safety and health facilities must comply with relevant national standards. An employer must provide workers with the necessary labor protection gear that complies with labor safety and health conditions stipulated under national regulations, as well as provide regular health checks for workers that are engaged in operations with occupational hazards. Laborers engaged in special operations shall have received specialized training and have obtained the pertinent qualifications. An employer shall develop a vocational training system. Vocational training funds shall be set aside and used in accordance with national regulations and vocational training for workers shall be carried out systematically based on the actual conditions of the Company.
The Labor Contract Law of the PRC, which was promulgated by the SCNPC on June 29, 2007, came into effect on January 1, 2008, and was amended on December 28, 2012 and became effective as of July 1, 2013, and the Implementation Regulations on Labor Contract Law, which was promulgated on September 18, 2008, and became effective since the same day, regulate both parties through a labor contract, namely the employer and the employee, and contain specific provisions involving the terms of the labor contract. It is stipulated under the Labor Contract Law and the Implementation Regulations on Labor Contract Law that a labor contract must be made in writing. An employer and an employee may enter into a fixed-term labor contract, an un-fixed term labor contract, or a labor contract that concludes upon the completion of certain work assignments, after reaching agreement upon due negotiations. An employer may legally terminate a labor contract and dismiss its employees after reaching agreement upon due negotiations with the employee or by fulfilling the statutory conditions. Labor contracts concluded prior to the enactment of the Labor Law and subsisting within the validity period thereof shall continue to be honored. With respect to a circumstance where a labor relationship has already been established but no formal written contract has been made, a written labor contract shall be entered into within one month from the commencement date of the employment.
According to the Interim Regulations on the Collection and Payment of Social Insurance Premiums, the Regulations on Work Injury Insurance, the Regulations on Unemployment Insurance and the Trial Measures on Employee Maternity Insurance of Enterprises, enterprises in the PRC shall provide benefit plans for their employees, which include basic pension insurance, unemployment insurance, maternity insurance, work injury insurance and basic medical insurance. An enterprise must provide social insurance by processing social insurance registration with local social insurance agencies, and shall pay or withhold relevant social insurance premiums for or on behalf of employees. The Law on Social Insurance of the PRC, which was promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on October 28, 2010, and became effective on July 1, 2011, and was most recently updated on December 29, 2018, has consolidated pertinent provisions for basic pension insurance, unemployment insurance, maternity insurance, work injury insurance and basic medical insurance, and has elaborated in detail the legal obligations and liabilities of employers who do not comply with relevant laws and regulations on social insurance.
According to the Interim Measures for Participation in the Social Insurance System by Foreigners Working within the Territory of China, which was promulgated by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security on September 6, 2011, and became effective on October 15, 2011, employers who employ foreigners shall participate in the basic pension insurance, unemployment insurance, basic medical insurance, occupational injury insurance, and maternity leave insurance in accordance with the relevant law, with the social insurance premiums to be contributed respectively by the employers and foreigner employees as required. In accordance with such Interim Measures, the social insurance administrative agencies shall exercise their right to supervise and examine the legal compliance of foreign employees and employers and the employers who do not pay social insurance premiums in conformity with the laws shall be subject to the administrative provisions provided in the Social Insurance Law and the relevant regulations and rules mentioned above.
According to the Regulations on the Administration of Housing Provident Fund, which was promulgated by the State Counsel and became effective on April 3, 1999, and was amended on March 24, 2002 and was partially revised on March 24, 2019 by Decision of the State Council on Revising Some Administrative Regulations (Decree No. 710 of the State Council), housing provident fund contributions by an individual employee and housing provident fund contributions by his or her employer shall belong to the individual employee. Registration by PRC companies at the applicable housing provident fund management center is compulsory and a special housing provident fund account for each of the employees shall be opened at an entrusted bank.
The employer shall timely pay up and deposit housing provident fund contributions in full amount and late or insufficient payments shall be prohibited. The employer shall process housing provident fund payment and deposit registrations with the housing provident fund administration center. With respect to companies who violate the above regulations and fail to process housing provident fund payment and deposit registrations or open housing provident fund accounts for their employees, such companies shall be ordered by the housing provident fund administration center to complete such procedures within a designated period. Those who fail to process their registrations within the designated period shall be subject to a fine ranging from RMB 10,000 to RMB 50,000. When companies breach these regulations and fail to pay up housing provident fund contributions in full amount as due, the housing provident fund administration center shall order such companies to pay up within a designated period, and may further apply to the People’s Court for mandatory enforcement against those who still fail to comply after the expiry of such period.
Legal Regulations on Tax in the PRC
In January 2008, the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law took effect, which was last amended by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on December 29, 2018. The PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law applies a uniform 25 percent enterprise income tax rate to both FIEs and domestic enterprises, except where tax incentives are granted to special industries and projects. The PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law defines “resident enterprise” as an enterprise established outside of the territory of China but with its “de facto management body” within China, which will also be subject to the 25% enterprise income tax rate. The implementation rules define the term “de facto management body” as the body that exercises full and substantial control and overall management over the business, productions, personnel, accounts, and properties of an enterprise. Under the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law and its implementation regulations, dividends generated from the business of a PRC subsidiary after January 1, 2008, and payable to its foreign investor may be subject to a withholding tax rate of 10 percent if the PRC tax authorities determine that the foreign investor is a Non-resident Enterprise, unless there is a tax treaty with China that provides for a preferential withholding tax rate. Distributions of earnings generated before January 1, 2008, are exempt from PRC withholding tax.
In January 2009, the SAT promulgated the Provisional Measures for the Administration of Withholding of Enterprise Income Tax for Non-resident Enterprises, or the Non-resident Enterprises Measures, which was repealed by Announcement of the State Administration of Taxation on Issues Relating to Withholding at Source of Income Tax of Non-resident Enterprises in December 2017. According to the new announcement, it shall apply to handling of matters relating to withholding at source of income tax of non-resident enterprises pursuant to the provisions of Article 37, Article 39 and Article 40 of the Enterprise Income Tax Law. According to Article 37, Article 39 of the Enterprise Income Tax Law, income tax over non-resident enterprise income pursuant to the provisions of the third paragraph of Article 3 shall be subject to withholding at the source, where the payer shall act as the withholding agent. The tax amount for each payment made or due shall be withheld by the withholding agent from the amount paid or payable. Where a withholding agent fails to withhold tax or perform tax withholding obligations pursuant to the provisions of Article 37, the taxpayer shall pay tax at the place where the income is derived. Where the taxpayer fails to pay tax pursuant to law, the tax authorities may demand payment of the tax amount payable, from a payer of the taxpayer with payable tax amounts from other taxable income items in China.
On April 30, 2009, the MOF and the SAT jointly issued the Circular on Issues Concerning Treatment of Enterprise Income Tax in Enterprise Restructuring Business, or Circular 59, which became effective retroactively as of January 1, 2008 and was partially revised on January 1, 2014. By promulgating and implementing this circular, the PRC tax authorities have enhanced their scrutiny over the direct or indirect transfer of equity interests in a PRC resident enterprise by a Non-resident Enterprise.
On February 3, 2015, the SAT issued the Announcement of the State Administration of Taxation on Several Issues Relating to Enterprise Income Tax of Transfers of Assets between Non-resident Enterprises, or SAT Bulletin 7, which was partially abolished on December 29, 2017. SAT Bulletin 7 extends its tax jurisdiction to transactions involving transfer of immovable property in China and assets held under the establishment, and placement in China, of a foreign company through the offshore transfer of a foreign intermediate holding company. SAT Bulletin 7 also addresses transfer of the equity interest in a foreign intermediate holding company broadly. In addition, SAT Bulletin 7 introduces safe harbor scenarios applicable to internal group restructurings. However, it also brings challenges to both the foreign transferor and transferee of the Indirect Transfer as they have to assess whether the transaction should be subject to PRC tax and to file or withhold the PRC tax accordingly.
On October 17, 2017, the SAT issued the Announcement of the State Administration of Taxation on Issues Concerning the Withholding of Non- resident Enterprise Income Tax at Source, or SAT Bulletin 37, which came into effect on December 1, 2017 and was revised on June 15, 2018. The SAT Bulletin 37 further clarifies the practice and procedure of withholding of non-resident enterprise income tax.
If non-resident investors were involved in our private equity financing, if such transactions were determined by the tax authorities to lack reasonable commercial purpose, we and our non-resident investors may be at risk of being required to file a return and be taxed under SAT Bulletin 7 and we may be required to expend valuable resources to comply with SAT Bulletin 7 or to establish that we should not be held liable for any obligations under SAT Bulletin 7.
According to the Temporary Regulations on Value-added Tax, which was most recently amended on November 19, 2017, and the Detailed Implementing Rules of the Temporary Regulations on Value-added Tax, which was amended on October 28, 2011, and became effective on November 1, 2011, all taxpayers selling goods, providing processing, repair or replacement services or importing goods within the PRC shall pay Value-Added Tax. The tax rate of 17 percent shall be levied on general taxpayers selling or importing various goods; the tax rate of 17 percent shall be levied on the taxpayers providing processing, repairing or replacement service; the applicable rate for the export of goods by taxpayers shall be nil, unless otherwise stipulated. On April 4, 2018, the Ministry of Finance and the SAT jointly issued the Notice of Adjustment of Value-added Tax Rates which declared that the VAT tax rate in regard to the sale of goods, provision of processing, repairs and replacement services and importation of goods into China shall be reduced from the previous 17% to 16% from May 1, 2018. The rate of Chinese VAT is 16%, and then changed to 13% and 6% starting in April 2019 of the gross proceeds or at a rate approved by the Chinese local government.
Furthermore, according to the Trial Scheme for the Conversion of Business Tax to Value-added Tax, which was promulgated by the MOF and the SAT, the PRC began to launch taxation reforms in a gradual manner in January 1, 2012, whereby the collection of value-added tax in lieu of business tax items was implemented on a trial basis in regions showing significant radiating effects in economic development and providing outstanding reform examples, beginning with production service industries such as transportation and certain modern service industries.
In accordance with a SAT circular that took effect on May 1, 2016, upon approval of the State Council, the pilot program of the collection of value- added tax in lieu of business tax shall be promoted nationwide in a comprehensive manner starting May 1, 2016, and all taxpayers of business tax engaged in the building industry, the real estate industry, the financial industry and the life service industry shall be included in the scope of the pilot program with regard to payment of value-added tax instead of business tax.
Regulations on Foreign Exchange
Foreign Currency Exchange
Pursuant to the Foreign Currency Administration Rules, as amended, and various regulations issued by SAFE and other relevant PRC government authorities, Renminbi is freely convertible to the extent of current account items, such as trade related receipts and payments, interest and dividends. Capital account items, such as direct equity investments, loans and repatriation of investment, unless expressly exempted by laws and regulations, still require prior approval from SAFE or its provincial branch for conversion of Renminbi into a foreign currency, such as U.S. dollars, and remittance of the foreign currency outside of the PRC. Payments for transactions that take place within the PRC must be made in Renminbi. Foreign currency revenues received by PRC companies may be repatriated into China or retained outside of China in accordance with requirements and terms specified by SAFE.
Wholly foreign-owned enterprises and Sino-foreign equity joint ventures in the PRC may pay dividends only out of their accumulated profits, if any, as determined in accordance with PRC accounting standards and regulations. Additionally, these FIEs may not pay dividends unless they set aside at least 10 percent of their respective accumulated profits after tax each year, if any, to fund certain reserve funds, until such time as the accumulative amount of such fund reaches 50 percent of the enterprise’s registered capital. In addition, these companies also may allocate a portion of their after-tax profits based on PRC accounting standards to employee welfare and bonus funds at their discretion. These reserves are not distributable as cash dividends.
Regulations Relating to Foreign Exchange Registration of Overseas Investment by PRC Residents
Circular 37, issued by SAFE and effective on July 4, 2014, regulates foreign exchange matters in relation to the use of SPVs by PRC residents or entities to seek offshore investment and financing and conduct round trip investment in China. Under Circular 37, a SPV refers to an offshore entity established or controlled, directly or indirectly, by PRC residents or entities for the purpose of seeking offshore financing or making offshore investment, using legitimate domestic or offshore assets or interests, while “round trip investment” refers to the direct investment in China by PRC residents or entities through SPVs, namely, establishing FIEs to obtain the ownership, control rights and management rights. Circular 37 requires that, before making contribution into a SPV, PRC residents or entities are required to complete foreign exchange registration with the SAFE or its local branch. SAFE Circular 37 further provides that option or share-based incentive tool holders of a non-listed SPV can exercise the options or share incentive tools to become a shareholder of such non-listed SPV, subject to registration with SAFE or its local branch.
PRC residents or entities who have contributed legitimate domestic or offshore interests or assets to SPVs but have yet to obtain SAFE registration before the implementation of the Circular 37 shall register their ownership interests or control in such SPVs with SAFE or its local branch. An amendment to the registration is required if there is a material change in the registered SPV, such as any change of basic information (including change of such PRC “resident’s name” and operation term), increases or decreases in investment amounts, transfers or exchanges of shares, or mergers or divisions. Failure to comply with the registration procedures set forth in Circular 37, or making misrepresentation on or failure to disclose controllers of a FIE that is established through round-trip investment, may result in restrictions on the foreign exchange activities of the relevant FIEs, including payment of dividends and other distributions, such as proceeds from any reduction in capital, share transfer or liquidation, to its offshore parent or affiliate, and the capital inflow from the offshore parent, and may also subject relevant PRC residents or entities to penalties under PRC foreign exchange administration regulations. On February 13, 2015, SAFE further promulgated the Circular on Further Simplifying and Improving the Administration of the Foreign Exchange Concerning Direct Investment, or SAFE Circular 13, which took effect on June 1, 2015. This SAFE Circular 13 has amended SAFE Circular 37 by requiring PRC residents or entities to register with qualified banks rather than SAFE or its local branch in connection with their establishment or control of an offshore entity established for the purpose of overseas investment or financing.
On March 30, 2015, the SAFE promulgated Circular 19, which came into effect on June 1, 2015. According to Circular 19, the foreign exchange capital of FIEs shall be subject to the Discretional Foreign Exchange Settlement. The Discretional Foreign Exchange Settlement refers to the foreign exchange capital in the capital account of a FIE for which the rights and interests of monetary contribution has been confirmed by the local foreign exchange bureau (or the book-entry registration of monetary contribution by the banks) can be settled at the banks based on the actual operational needs of the FIE. The proportion of Discretional Foreign Exchange Settlement of the foreign exchange capital of a FIE is temporarily determined to be 100%. The Renminbi converted from the foreign exchange capital will be kept in a designated account and if a FIE needs to make further payment from such account, it still needs to provide supporting documents and go through the review process with the banks.
SAFE issued the Circular on Reforming and Regulating Policies on the Control over Foreign Exchange Settlement of Capital Accounts, or Circular 16, on June 9, 2016, which became effective simultaneously. Pursuant to Circular 16, enterprises registered in the PRC may also convert their foreign debts from foreign currency to Renminbi on a discretionary basis. Circular 16 provides an integrated standard for conversion of foreign exchange under capital account items (including foreign currency capital and foreign debts) on a discretionary basis which applies to all enterprises registered in the PRC. Circular 16 reiterates the principle that Renminbi converted from foreign currency-denominated capital of a company may not be directly or indirectly used for purposes beyond its business scope or prohibited by PRC laws or regulations, while such converted Renminbi shall not be provided as loans to its non- affiliated entities. As Circular 16 is newly issued and SAFE has not provided detailed guidelines with respect to its interpretation or implementations, it is uncertain how these rules will be interpreted and implemented.
Regulations on loans to and direct investment in the PRC entities by offshore holding companies
According to the Implementation Rules for the Provisional Regulations on Statistics and Supervision of Foreign Debt promulgated by SAFE on September 24, 1997 and the Interim Provisions on the Management of Foreign Debts promulgated by SAFE, the NDRC and the MOF and effective from March 1, 2003, loans by foreign companies to their subsidiaries in China, which accordingly are FIEs, are considered foreign debt, and such loans must be registered with the local branches of the SAFE. Under the provisions, the total amount of accumulated medium-term and long-term foreign debt and the balance of short-term debt borrowed by a FIE is limited to the difference between the total investment and the registered capital of the foreign- invested enterprise.
On January 12, 2017, the People’s Bank of China promulgated the Circular of the People’s Bank of China on Matters relating to the Macro-prudential Management of Comprehensive Cross-border Financing, or PBOC Circular 9, which took effect on the same date. The PBOC Circular 9 established a capital or net assets-based constraint mechanism for cross-border financing. Under such mechanism, a company may carry out cross-border financing in Renminbi or foreign currencies at their own discretion. The total cross-border financing of a company shall be calculated using a risk-weighted approach and shall not exceed an upper limit. The upper limit is calculated as capital or assets multiplied by a cross-border financing leverage ratio and multiplied by a macro-prudential regulation parameter.
In addition, according to PBOC Circular 9, as of the date of the promulgation of PBOC Circular 9, a transition period of one year is set for foreign- invested enterprises and during such transition period, FIEs may apply either the current cross-border financing management mode, namely the mode provided by Implementation Rules for the Provisional Regulations on Statistics and Supervision of Foreign Debt and the Interim Provisions on the Management of Foreign Debts, or the mode in this PBOC Circular 9 at its sole discretion. After the end of the transition period, the cross-border financing management mode for FIEs will be determined by the People’s Bank of China and SAFE after assessment based on the overall implementation of this PBOC Circular 9.
According to applicable PRC regulations on FIEs, capital contributions from a foreign holding company to its PRC subsidiaries, which are considered FIEs, may only be made when approval by or registration with the MOFCOM or its local counterpart is obtained.
Regulations Relating to Foreign Investment
The Foreign Investment Law
On March 15, 2019, the National People’s Congress approved the Foreign Investment Law, which took effect on January 1, 2020 and replaced three existing laws on foreign investments in China, namely, the PRC Equity Joint Venture Law, the PRC Cooperative Joint Venture Law and the Wholly Foreign-owned Enterprise Law, together with their implementation rules and ancillary regulations. The Foreign Investment Law 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 invested enterprises in China. The Foreign Investment Law establishes the basic framework for the access to, and the promotion, protection and administration of foreign investments in view of investment protection and fair competition.
According to the Foreign Investment Law, “foreign investment” refers to investment activities directly or indirectly conducted by one or more natural persons, business entities, or otherwise organizations of a foreign country (collectively referred to as “foreign investor”) within China, and the investment activities include the following situations: (i) a foreign investor, individually or collectively with other investors, establishes a foreign-invested enterprise within China; (ii) a foreign investor acquires stock shares, equity shares, shares in assets, or other like rights and interests of an enterprise within China;(iii) a foreign investor, individually or collectively with other investors, invests in a new project within China; and (iv) investments in other means as provided by laws, administrative regulations, or the State Council.
According to the Foreign Investment Law, the State Council will publish or approve to publish the “negative list” for special administrative measures concerning foreign investment. The Foreign Investment Law grants national treatment to foreign-invested entities, or FIEs, except for those FIEs that operate in industries deemed to be either “restricted” or “prohibited” in the “negative list”. The Foreign Investment Law provides that FIEs operating in foreign restricted or prohibited industries will require market entry clearance and other approvals from relevant PRC governmental authorities. If a foreign investor is found to invest in any prohibited industry in the “negative list”, such foreign investor may be required to, among other aspects, cease its investment activities, dispose of its equity interests or assets within a prescribed time limit and have its income confiscated. If the investment activity of a foreign investor is in breach of any special administrative measure for restrictive access provided for in the “negative list”, the relevant competent department shall order the foreign investor to make corrections and take necessary measures to meet the requirements of the special administrative measure for restrictive access.
Besides, the PRC government will establish a foreign investment information reporting system, according to which foreign investors or foreign- invested enterprises shall submit investment information to the competent department for commerce concerned through the enterprise registration system and the enterprise credit information publicity system, and a security review system under which the security review shall be conducted for foreign investment affecting or likely affecting the state security.
Furthermore, the Foreign Investment Law provides that foreign invested enterprises established according to the existing laws regulating foreign investment may maintain their structure and corporate governance within five years after the implementing of the Foreign Investment Law.
In addition, the Foreign Investment Law also provides several protective rules and principles for foreign investors and their investments in the PRC, including, among others, that a foreign investor may freely transfer into or out of China, in Renminbi or a foreign currency, its contributions, profits, capital gains, income from disposition of assets, royalties of intellectual property rights, indemnity or compensation lawfully acquired, and income from liquidation, among others, within China; local governments shall abide by their commitments to the foreign investors; governments at all levels and their departments shall enact local normative documents concerning foreign investment in compliance with laws and regulations and shall not impair legitimate rights and interests, impose additional obligations onto FIEs, set market access restrictions and exit conditions, or intervene with the normal production and operation activities of FIEs; except for special circumstances, in which case statutory procedures shall be followed and fair and reasonable compensation shall be made in a timely manner, expropriation or requisition of the investment of foreign investors is prohibited; and mandatory technology transfer is prohibited.
The Guidance Catalogue of Industries for Foreign Investment
Investment activities in the PRC by foreign investors are governed by the Guidance Catalogue of Industries for Foreign Investment, or the Catalogue, which was promulgated and is amended from time to time by the MOFCOM and the NDRC. On December 28, 2020, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce publicly released the Directory of Industries to Encourage Foreign Investment (Encouraged Catalogue) (2020 Edition). On December 27, 2021, the National Development and Reform Commission of China (“NDRC”) and the Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM”) jointly issued the Special Administrative Measures for Foreign Investment Access (Negative List) (2021 Edition), and the Special Administrative Measures for Foreign Investment Access in Pilot Free Trade Zones (Negative List) (2021 Edition), effective January 1, 2022. Foreign investors are not allowed to invest in industries that are expressly prohibited in the 2021 Negative List. The industries that are not expressly prohibited in the Negative List are still subject to government approvals and certain special requirements. The purpose of the Catalogue is to direct foreign investment into certain priority industry sectors while restricting or prohibiting investment in other sectors. If the investment falls within the “encouraged” category, foreign investment can be conducted through the establishment of a WFOE. If the investment falls within the “restricted” category, foreign investment may be conducted through the establishment of a WFOE if certain requirements are met or in some cases must be conducted through the establishment of a joint venture enterprise, with varying minimum shareholdings for the Chinese party, depending on the particular industry. If the investment falls within the “prohibited” category, foreign investment of any kind is not allowed. Any investment that occurs within an industry not falling into any of three categories is classified as a permitted industry for foreign investment.
Pursuant to the PRC Company Law, promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on December 29, 1993, effective as of July 1, 1994, and as revised on December 25, 1999, August 28, 2004, October 27, 2005, December 28, 2013 and October 26, 2018, the establishment, operation and management of corporate entities in the PRC are governed by the PRC Company Law. The PRC Company Law defines two types of companies: limited liability companies and limited stock companies.
Our PRC operating subsidiary is a limited liability company. Unless otherwise stipulated in the related laws on foreign investment, foreign invested companies are also required to comply with the provisions of the PRC Company Law.
Laws and Regulations on the Protection of Consumer Rights and Interests
Business operators in the business of supplying and selling manufactured goods or services to consumers, shall comply with the Law of the PRC on the Protection of Consumer Rights and Interests (the “Consumer Rights Protection Law”) promulgated by the SCNPC on October 31, 1993, and effective as of January 1, 1994, and revised on August 27, 2009 and October 25, 2013.
According to the Consumer Rights Protection Law, business operators must ensure that the goods or services provided by them meet the requirements for safeguarding personal and property safety. For goods and services that may endanger personal and property safety, consumers should be provided with a true description and an explicit warning, as well as a description and indication of the proper way to use the goods or accept the services and the methods of preventing the occurrence of a hazard. If the goods or services provided by the business operators cause personal injuries to consumers or third parties, the business operators shall compensate the injured parties for their losses.
All of our contracts are subject to the PRC contract law. Under PRC contract law, a natural person, legal person or other legally established organization shall have full capacity of civil right and civil conduct while entering into a contact. Except as otherwise required by other laws and regulations, the formation, validity, performance, modification, assignment, termination, and liability for breach of a contract are stipulated by PRC contract law. A contracting party who failed to perform or failed to fulfill its contractual obligation shall bear the responsibility of a continued duty to perform or to provide remedies and compensation as provided by PRC laws.
Product Quality Law
Pursuant to Product Quality Law of the PRC, promulgated on September 1, 1993 and amended in 2000, 2009 and 2018 respectively, producing or selling products that do not meet the standards or requirements for safeguarding human health or that constitute unreasonable threats to the safety of human life or property is prohibited. Where a defective product causes physical injury to a person or damage to his/her property, the injured party may claim compensation against the manufacturer or the distributor of such product.
Where any person produces or sells products that do not comply with the relevant national or industrial standards for safeguarding human health or constitute unreasonable threats to the safety of human life or property, the relevant authority will order the specific manufacturer or distributor to suspend the production or sale of defective products, confiscate the products produced or for sale, and impose a fine in an amount of up to three times the value of the defective products. Where illegal earnings were made or were involved, the relevant earnings will be confiscated accordingly. If the breach of regulation is serious, the business license of the relevant manufacturer and distributor may be revoked. If the relevant activities constitute a crime, the offender may be prosecuted.
PRC Laws and Regulations Relating to Advertising Business
The State Administration for Industry and Commerce, or SAI, is the primary governmental authority regulating advertising activities in China. The Advertisement Law of the PRC, which was most recently amended on April 29, 2021, the Administrative Regulations for Advertising, effective as of December 1, 1987, and the Administrative Provisions on Registration of Publishing of Advertisements, effective as of December 1, 2016 are the relevant regulations that apply to advertising businesses.
According to the above laws, regulations and rules, a company engaged in advertising activities must obtain, from the SAIC or its local branches, a business license that specifically includes operating an advertising business in its business scope. Failure to do so may lead to orders to rectify, fines and other penalties. An enterprise engaging in advertising does not need to apply for registration of releasing advertisement, provided that such enterprise is not a radio station, television station, newspaper or magazine publisher or any other entity otherwise specified in the relevant laws or regulations. A radio station, television station, newspaper, magazine publisher or any other entity otherwise specified in the relevant laws or regulations may be subject to penalties, including fines, confiscation of advertising income and orders to rectify if it conducts advertising releasing activities without completing the required registration. The business license of an advertising company is valid for the duration of its existence, unless the license is suspended or revoked due to a violation of any relevant laws or regulations. Foreign investors are permitted to own all equity interests in PRC advertising companies.
Regulations on Toy Recall System
Pursuant to Article 3 of the Regulations on the Administration of Recall of Children’s Toys (Order No. 101 of the State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine), the term “children’s toys” refers to products processed, sold, and designed or intended for children under 14 years of age to play. “Defects” referred to in the Regulations on the Administration of Recall of Children’s Toys refer to unreasonable dangers that are common in certain batches, models or categories of children’s toys and that endanger children’s health and safety due to design, production, instructions and other reasons. The term “recall” in the Regulations on the Administration of Recall of Children’s Toys refers to a situation in which manufacturers and distributors must recall defective toys in accordance with prescribed procedures and requirements. The producer or the sellers organized by the producer can effectively prevent and eliminate the damage caused by defects by supplementing or amending the consumption instructions, returning goods, changing goods, repairing goods, and so on.
Article 12 of the Regulations on the Administration of Recall of Children’s Toys stipulates that producers shall strengthen the management of information concerning the design of children’s toys, the purchase of raw materials, the production and sale of toys and the labeling of products, as well as consumer complaints, product injury accidents, product injury disputes and recalls of products abroad, and establish and improve relevant information archives. Article 13 of the Regulations on the Administration of Recall of Children’s Toys stipulates that sellers shall strengthen the management of children’s toys, information management such as purchasing and sales, and proper preservation of consumer complaints, product injury accidents, product injury disputes and other information files.
Article 14 of the Regulations on the Administration of Recall of Children’s Toys states that where the producer is aware that the children’s toy provided by him may be defective, the defect investigation shall be commenced immediately to confirm whether there is a defect.
Article 19 of the Regulations on the Administration of Recall of Children’s Toys states that where a defect in a children’s toy is confirmed by investigation, a risk assessment shall be made on the basis of the possibility, extent and scope of the damage to the child’s health and safety caused by the defect in the child’s toy, and a recall shall be carried out according to the result of the risk assessment.
Children’s Toy Recall Information and Risk Assessment Management Method
Children’s Toy Recall Information and Risk Assessment Management Method was formulated pursuant to the provisions of the Administrative Provisions on the Recall of Children’s Toys, promulgated and enforced as of January 31, 2008. This method is formulated for the purposes of scientifically and orderly managing the defect investigation and risk assessment of children’s toys. The Defective Products Management Center of State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine is in charge of the routine management of children’s toys recall, and mainly assists the State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine to establish and maintain information system for recall management, to organize expert database, to select testing and experimental institution, organizing defect investigation and risk assessment, etc. In the event of children’s toys recall, its basic information, consumers’ complaints, injury accidents, injury disputes and overseas recalls of its products, etc. shall be filed with the local quality supervision department by manufacturer in writing or electronically.
Law of the People’s Republic of China on Import and Export Commodity Inspection
Law on Import and Export Commodity Inspection became effective on August 1, 1989 for the first time, and was later revised and enforced on December 29, 2018. Law on Import and Export Commodity Inspection is the legal basis for inspection and supervision of import and export commodities. This law is formulated for the purposes of improving and regulating the inspection of import and export commodities, guaranteeing the quality of commodities, promoting the smooth development of China’s economic and trade relations with other countries. This law highlights the emphasis of inspection of import and export commodities, stipulates that commodity inspection agencies shall conduct compulsory inspection to import and export commodities which are listed in the Catalogue or required by other laws and regulations.
Law on Import and Export Commodity Inspection stipulates that import commodities subject to statutory inspection that have not been inspected must not be sold or used; export commodities subject to statutory inspection that have failed to pass the inspection must not be exported; packaging containers for dangerous export commodities shall apply for a test of the performance and use of such packaging containers, and no permission shall be granted for the export of dangerous commodities kept in packaging containers which have not passed the test. This Law applies to the management of 11 categories of import and export toy products, including soft toy, bamboo toy, plastic toy, ride-on toy, toy car, electric toy, paper toy, stationery like toy, soft modelling toy, ejecting toy and metal toy.
Implementation Regulations for the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Import and Export Commodity Inspection
Implementation Regulations for the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Import and Export Commodity Inspection was formulated pursuant to the provisions of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Import and Export Commodity Inspection, adopted at the 101st executive meeting of the State Council on August 10, 2005 and effective as of December 1, 2005, later revised and enforced on March 2, 2019.
This regulation applies to the management of 11 categories of import and export toy products, including soft toy, bamboo toy, plastic toy, ride-on toy, toy car, electric toy, paper toy, stationery like toy, soft modelling toy, ejecting toy and metal toy.
Standardization Law of the People’s Republic of China
Standardization Law of the People’s Republic of China was passed by the fifth session of the Standing Committee of the Seventh National People’s Congress on December 29, 1988, and revised on November 4, 2017. This law is formulated for the purposes of developing socialist commodity economy, promoting scientific and technological advancement, improving the quality of products, adapting standardization work to the need for socialist modernization and external economic relationship development. This law applies to industrial product including toy product.
Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Certification and Accreditation
Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Certification and Accreditation became effective as of September 3, 2003, and was later revised on February 6, 2016. This regulation is formulated for the purposes of standardizing certification and accreditation, improving the quality of products and services and management standard. This regulation applies to all certification agencies, certification services and accreditation services in the PRC.
Administrative Regulations on Compulsory Product Certification
Administrative Regulations on Compulsory Product Certification was formulated pursuant to the provisions of the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Certification and Accreditation and other laws, regulations and relevant provisions of the State, was adopted by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine on July 3, 2009 and became effective as of September 1, 2009. For products that are subject to compulsory product certification, the PRC will unify the product catalogue (hereinafter referred to as catalogue), the compulsory requirements, standards and conformity assessment procedures for technical specifications, the certification marks. The particular products specified by the PRC may not be delivered, sold, imported or used in other business activities until they are certified and labeled with a certification mark. The product catalogue includes manufactured toy product.
To guarantee the safety and quality of children’s toy, protect children’s health and safety, the Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China has revised GB 6675-2003 National Safety Technical Code for Toys and documented to GB 6675-2014 Safety of Toys National Standard 1-4 Parts, which were enforced as of January 1, 2016.
Four Mandatory National Standards are Part 1 of Safety of Toys: Basic Norm, Part 2 of Safety of Toys: Mechanical and Physical Properties, Part 3 of Safety of Toys: Flammability and Part 4 of Safety of Toys: Migration of Specific Elements.
Since the date of enforcement, all toy products entering the Chinese mainland market shall meet the requirement of new Mandatory National Standards, and the old GB 6675-2003 National Safety Technical Code for Toys was invalidated with the enforcement of new Mandatory National Standards.
Measures for the Inspection, Supervision and Administration of Import and Export Toys
Measures for the Inspection, Supervision and Administration of Import and Export Toys was promulgated by the State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine on March 2, 2009 and became effective as of September 15, 2009 and was most recently amended by the General Administration of Customs of the PRC on November 23, 2018, which formulates the entry conditions of import and export toys, the inspection of import and export toys, the registration of export toys, and the supervision and legal liability of import and export toys. This measure applies to the enterprises engaged in the production and trade of import and export toys and the inspection and quarantine institutions. This measure is formulated for the purposes of regulating the inspection and supervision of import and export toys, strengthening the administration of import and export toys and protecting the human health and safety of consumers.
C. .. Organizational Structure
The charts below summarize our corporate legal structure and identify our subsidiaries, our VIEs and their subsidiaries:
Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology
|Brilliant Hat Limited||
● A British Virgin Islands company
● Incorporated on June 26, 2018
● A holding company
|100% owned by Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology|
|Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology Limited||
● A Hong Kong company
● Incorporated on June 26, 2018
● A holding company
|100% owned by Brilliant Hat Limited|
|Xiamen Duwei Consulting Management Co., Ltd.||
● A PRC limited liability company and deemed a wholly foreign owned enterprise, or WFOE
● Incorporated on July 26, 2018
● Registered capital of $20,000,000
● A holding company
|100% owned by Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology Limited|
|Fresh Joy Entertainment Ltd||
● A British Virgin Islands company, acquired on January 25, 2021
● Incorporated on January 7, 2020
● A holding company
|100% owned by Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology Limited|
|Fujian Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology Ltd.||
● A PRC limited liability company
● Incorporated on January 7, 2010
● Registered capital of $4,697,526 (RMB 31,054,000)
● Designing, producing, promoting and selling animated toys with mobile games features, original intellectual property and peripheral derivatives features.
|VIE of Blue Hat Xiamen Duwei Consulting Management Co., Ltd.|
|Hunan Engaomei Animation Culture Development Co., Ltd.||
● A PRC limited liability company
● Incorporated on October 19, 2017
● Registered capital of $302,540 (RMB 2,000,000)
● Designing, producing, promoting and selling animated toys with mobile games features, original intellectual property and peripheral derivatives features.
|100% owned by Fujian Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology Ltd.|
|Fuzhou CSFCTECH Co., Ltd.||
● A PRC limited liability company
● Incorporated on August 5, 2011
● Registered capital of $3,001,159 (RMB 20,000,000)
● Developing and distributing network games in China. Fuzhou CSFC also promotes diversified development and brings together the latest popular games, including 2D and 3D games, integrating role-playing, casual, real-time, horizontal fighting, card, strategy and other types of game products in a comprehensive layout.
|51% controlled by Fresh Joy Entertainment Ltd via VIE|
|Fuzhou UC71 Co., Ltd.||● A PRC limited liability company
● Incorporated on October 25, 2016
● Registered capital of $1,854,456 (RMB 12,000,000)
● Software development, Information technology consulting service
|100% controlled by Fresh Joy Entertainment Ltd via VIE|
|Pingxiang Blue Hat Technology Co. Ltd.||
● A PRC limited liability company
● Incorporated on September 10, 2018
● Registered capital of $302,540 (RMB 2,000,000)
● Designing, producing, promoting and selling animated toys with mobile games features, original intellectual property and peripheral derivatives features.
|100% owned by Fujian Blue Hat Interactive Technology Ltd.|
|Xiamen Jiuqiao Technology Co. Ltd.||
● A PRC limited liability company
● Incorporated on March 31, 2020
● Registered capital of $15,325,905 (RMB 100,000,000)
● Designing, producing, promoting and selling animated toys with mobile games features, original intellectual property and peripheral derivatives features, and consultation service.
● Transferred out all its equity interests on December 20, 2021
|40% owned controlled by Fujian Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology Ltd. 60% owned by Xiamen Duwei Consulting Management Co., Ltd.|
|Fujian Youth Hand in Hand Educational Technology Co., Ltd||
● A PRC limited liability company
● Incorporated on September 18, 2017
● Registered capital of $3,106,214 (RMB 20,100,000)
● Educational consulting service and sports related.
48.5% owned controlled by Fujian Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology Ltd.
51.5% owned by Xiamen Duwei Consulting Management Co., Ltd.
|Fuzhou Qiande Educational Technology Co., Ltd||
● A PRC limited liability company
● Incorporated on March 24, 2021
● Information Technology consulting service
|100% controlled by Fujian Youth Hand in Hand Educational Technology Co., Ltd|
|Xiamen Bluehat Research Institution of Education Co., Ltd.||
● A PRC limited liability company
● Incorporated on February 20, 2021
● Information Technology consulting service
|100% owned by Fujian Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology Ltd.|
|Xunpusen (Xiamen) Technology Co., Ltd.||
● A PRC limited liability company
● Transferred out all its equity interests on September 20, 2021
|60% controlled by Fujian Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology Ltd.|
|Fujian Lanyun Canghai Technology Co., Ltd.||
● A PRC limited liability company
● Incorporated on June 29, 2021
● Software development, promoting and selling of toys and stationery
|100% owned by Fujian Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology Ltd.|
|Fujian Blue Hat Group Co., Ltd.||
● A PRC limited liability company
● Incorporated on August 23, 2021
|100% owned by Blue Hat Interactive Entertainment Technology Limited.|
|Hong Kong Xinyou Entertainment Company||
● A Hong Kong company, acquired on January 25, 2021
● Incorporated on August 18, 2020
● A holding company
100% owned by
|Fujian Xinyou Technology Co., Ltd.||
● A PRC limited liability company and deemed a wholly foreign owned enterprise (“WFOE”), acquired on January 25, 2021
● Incorporated on September 29, 2020
● A holding company
100% owned by
Hong Kong Xinyou
|Fujian Roar Game Technology Co. Ltd.||
● A PRC limited liability company, acquired on January 25, 2021
● Incorporated on December 6, 2019
● Designing, producing, promoting and selling animated toys with mobile
VIE of Fujian Xinyou
Technology Co., Ltd.
D. Property, Plant and Equipment
Our principal executive office is located at 7th Floor, Building C, No. 1010 Anling Road, Huli District, Xiamen, China 361009, where we lease 15,336 square feet of office space. We lease this space under a lease that terminates on January 9, 2024. We also lease 1,157 square feet of office space located at Room A206, Floor 3, Building 1, Shaoyuanli, North Baima Road, Gulou District, Fuzhou, Fujian, China under a lease that terminates on April 30, 2026. In addition, we lease 23,343 square feet of factory space located at Building 3, Dong Wai Yi Road, East Industrial Park, Datong Road, Tongan District, Xiamen, China under a lease that terminates on December 19, 2022. In addition, we lease 5,166 square feet of office space located at Room 713-723, Floor 7, Building #34, District C, Fuzhou Software Park, No. 89 Software Avenue, Tong Pan Road, Fuzhou, China under a lease that terminates on July 24, 2022.
We believe that our facilities are adequate to meet our needs for the immediate future, and that, should it be needed, suitable additional space will be available on commercially reasonable terms to accommodate any such expansion of our operations.
ITEM 4A. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
ITEM 5. OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS
You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this annual report on Form 20-F. This discussion may contain forward-looking statements based upon current expectations that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward- looking statements as a result of various factors, including those set forth under “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors” or in other parts of this annual report on Form 20-F.
A. Operating results
We are a producer, developer and operator of AR interactive entertainment games and toys in China, including interactive educational materials, mobile games, toys with mobile game features, and Immersive Education Classes. We have also expanded into the Internet Data Center (IDC) business and sold the business in 2021 due to the policy lightening Our interactive entertainment platform creates unique user experiences by connecting physical items to mobile devices, which creates a rich visual and interactive environment for users through the integration of real objects and virtual scenery. Distinguished by our proprietary technology, we aim to create an engaging, interactive and immersive community for our users. IDC is a place to host a group of hosting enterprises, merchants, or web servers, an infrastructure on which models of e-commerce operate securely, and a platform to support businesses and their business alliances in implementing value chain management for their distributors, suppliers and customers. Since the fourth quarter of 2020, we have continued to develop and utilize our mobile marketing and hosting expertise to support and grow our traditional mobile and gaming business while seeking new channels to expand the Company’s customer base and leverage relationships.
We have grown rapidly since our inception. We generate revenues primarily from sales of our interactive toys, specifically our animation and game series, and mobile games and Immersive Education Classes and the Internet Data Center (IDC) business. Our total revenues decreased by $9,444,849, or 38.39%, to $15,155,074 for the year ended December 31, 2021 as compared to $24,599,923 for the year ended December 31, 2020 mainly due to overall influence of Covid-19 on our sales of interactive toy series, such as decreased customer demands and higher express expenses. As a result, revenue generated from interactive toys decreased by $8,325,919, or 47.02%. Our total revenues increased by $765,794, or 3.21%, to $24,599,923 for the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to $23,834,129 for the year ended December 31, 2019.
In an effort to capture a substantive share of the AR interactive toy market in China, we have increased our investment in the research and development of our AR interactive toys and games. Investment in research and development internally in the year ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019 were $13,169,157, $246,923 and $1,031,204, respectively. We have collaborated with external developers in the AR interactive toys and games industry. As of December 31, 2021 and 2020, we prepaid approximately $10.3 million and $4.2 million to such developers for the development of more advanced technology for our AR interactive toys and games.
Key Factors that Affect Operating Results
Investment in technology and talent
We believe the key to success in the AR interactive toy market is research and development. We release new mobile applications annually, and intend to continue doing so, in an effort to extend the life cycle of our products. The advancement of our technology is critical as it enables us to retain and attract users. We must continue to innovate, develop and produce technologies to keep pace with the growth of our business and the industry. Therefore, we invest substantially in the research and development of AR interactive technologies. Our current research and development efforts are primarily focused on further advancement of the technology used in our products, including photosensitive induction technology, gesture-sensor technology, infrared induction technology and AR identification technology.
Our ability to build our brand and expand our sales distribution channel
Our distribution channels include domestic distributors, e-commerce platforms, supermarkets and export distributors. 100% of our products sold in 2021 were sold domestically in China, and 99% of those products sold in China were generated from Chinese distributors. We are in the process of expanding our e-commerce sales team, and we are transitioning from single, offline promotional activities to diversified, online interactive marketing and digital marketing. We intend to increase our branding and advertising activities via online communities, social media and television. Our revenue growth will be affected by our ability to effectively execute our shifting marketing strategies and expand our sales distribution channel through e-commerce.
Our ability to expand our portfolio of products and business
We intend to pursue strategic acquisitions and investments in selective technologies and businesses that will enhance our technology capabilities, expand our offerings and increase our market penetration. We believe our strategic acquisition and investment strategy is critical for us to accelerate our growth and strengthen our competitive position. Our ability to identify and execute strategic acquisitions and investments will have an effect on our operating results.
Although the PRC economy has grown in recent years, the pace of growth has slowed, and growth rates may continue to decline. According to the PRC National Bureau of Statistics of China, the annual rate of growth in the PRC declined 7.6% in 2014, to 7.0% in 2015, 6.8% in 2016, 6.9% in 2017, 6.8% in 2018, 6.1% in 2019, 2.3% in 2020 and 8.1% in 2021. A further slowdown in overall economic growth, an economic downturn, a recession or other adverse economic development in the PRC may materially reduce the purchasing power of Chinese consumers and thus lead to decreased demand for our products. Such a decrease in demand may have a materially adverse effect on our business.
Impact of Foreign Currency Fluctuation
See “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Doing Business in China—Fluctuations in exchange rates could have a material and adverse effect on our results of operations and the value of your investment.” and “Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk-Foreign Exchange Risk.”
In late 2019, the “COVID-19” virus appeared in Wuhan, China. By March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) labeled COVID-19 as a pandemic and many countries around the world began closing borders and making efforts to either shelter-in-place or quarantine its population. Our Company and all of our operations are located in China. Throughout the year 2021, China faced with several resurgence of COVID-19 in many metropolitan areas. Therefore, China placed a mandatory quarantine on certain areas and although our operation did not completely shut down, we are negatively influenced. Therefore, our sales and revenue decreased.
On November 30, 2020, the Company, Joyful Castale International Limited, Chief Choice Global Limited, Fresh Joy, Fujian Roar Game Technology Co., Ltd. (the “Target Company”), the shareholders of the Target Company and certain other parties entered into an Agreement on Transfer of Shares of Fresh Joy and Realization of Actual Control over Fujian Roar Game Technology Co., Ltd. (the “Acquisition Agreement”), pursuant to which the Company shall acquire 100% of the equity shares of Fresh Joy, a Cayman Islands company (the transaction, the “Acquisition”).
As of the date of the Acquisition Agreement, Joyful Castale International Limited and Chief Choice Global Limited (collectively, the “Transferors”) together owned 100% of the equity shares of Fresh Joy, which, through its affiliate companies, Hong Kong Xinyou Entertainment Company and Fujian Xinyou Technology Co., Ltd., entered into a series of structured contracts with the Target Company. The Target Company is a limited liability company formed under the laws of the People’s Republic of China and holds 51% of the equity interest of Fuzhou CSFC and 100% of the equity interest of Fuzhou UC71.
Pursuant to the Acquisition Agreement, the Company shall acquire 100% of the equity shares of Fresh Joy from the Transferors for an aggregated purchase price of $7.7736 million (the “Purchase Price”), of which 50% shall be paid in cash (which percentage could be increased subject to the Transferors’ intention according to the actual circumstances) and the other half shall be paid in the Company’s restricted ordinary shares (the “Ordinary Shares”) at a per share price of the higher of the weighted average volume price of the 20 trading days prior to the issuance of such Ordinary Shares, or $4, the IPO price of the Company’s Ordinary Shares, subject to certain performance targets. The Acquisition closed on January 25, 2021. Subsequent to the above acquisition, the Company entered into information services and communication services. IDC business can enable larger companies to promote and sell products using Xunpusen’s expertise in message marketing and integrated solutions. Although the revenue of our IDC business has increased, with lightening policies promulgated by MIIT in recent years which leads to the decreased profit margin, we have sold our IDC business in 2021.
Results of Operations
Comparison of Years Ended December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020
|For the Years ended December 31,|
|Cost of revenues||(8,672,150||)||(11,179,903||)||(2,507,753||)||(22.43||)%|
|General and administrative expenses||(32,032,186||)||(2,488,320||)||(29,543,866||)||1187.3||%|
|Research and development||(13,169,157||)||(246,923||)||(12,922,234||)||5233.31||%|
|(Loss) Income from operations||(60,957,583||)||10,204,409||(71,161,992||)||(697.37||)%|
|Other income, net||(452,921||)||(483,588||)||30,667||6.34||%|
|Provision for income taxes||(138,061||)||(1,672,957||)||(1,534,896||)||(91.75||)%|
|Income from discontinued operations||—||233,153||(233,153||)||(100||)%|
|Gain on disposal of discontinued operations||1,493,945||—||1,493,945||100||%|
|Net (loss) income||(60,054,620||)||8,281,017||(68,335,637||)||(825.21||)%|
Our revenues are derived from sales of interactive toys, animation and game series, mobile games and information services. Total revenues decreased by $9,444,849, or 38.39%, to $15,155,074 for the year ended December 31, 2021 as compared to $24,599,923 for the year ended December 31, 2020. The overall decrease is mainly due to the influence of Covid-19 on our business of interactive toy series in 2021, with a decrease of $8,325,919. The increase in revenue from mobile games was offset by the decrease in sales of our interactive toy - animation and game series.
Our revenue from each of our revenue categories is as follows:
|For the Year||For the Year|
|December 31,||December 31,||Change|
|Interactive toys - animation series||$||657,619||$||1,575,903||(918,284||)||(58.27||)%|
|Interactive toys - game series||8,723,480||16,131,115||(7,407,635||)||(45.92||)%|
Interactive Toys - Game Series
Revenues from sales of interactive toys - game series decreased by $7.41 million or 45.92% from $16.13 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 to $8.72 million for the year ended December 31, 2021. Our business strategy still focuses on higher profit products such as interactive toys - game series, which had a gross profit percentage of 50.24% in 2021. However, the revenues of interactive toys - game series were continuously negatively affected by the COVID -19 in 2021. The travel and consumer demand in some of the epidemic areas were restricted to a certain extent due to the epidemic control policy and the logistics efficiency of goods were also negatively affected. Interactive toys - game series focuses on children, and children typically purchase the product when they are able to physically touch and play with the products. Due to COVID-19, the physical shopping has decreased significantly, which resulted in a decline in revenue.
Interactive Toys - Animation Series
Revenues from sales of interactive toys - animation series decreased by $918,284 or 58.27% from $1,575,903 for the year ended December 31, 2020 to $657,619 for the year ended December 31, 2021. The decrease in revenues from sales of interactive toy-animation series was also caused by influence of Covid-19 in 2021. The revenue from kindergarten sales significantly contributed to the decrease in animation revenue in year 2021.
Revenues from mobile games increased by $1.66 million or 66.20% from $2.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 to $4.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2021. Mobile games is highly cyclical—each game has a limited time to attract players to play, and when the game reaches a certain stage, players typically decrease play time, and eventually will cease playing. Although a majority of our mobile games are reaching a decline trend, the contribution to the revenue increased compared to the previous year.
Revenue from information service decreased by $2.78 million or 63.33% from $4.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 to $1.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2021.
Cost of Revenues
Total cost of revenues decreased by $2.51 million, or 22.43%, to $8.67 million for the year ended December 31, 2021 as compared to $11.18 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. The decrease in cost of revenues is a direct result of our decrease of revenues.
Our cost of revenues from each of our revenue categories is as follows:
|For the Year ended December 31,||For the Year ended December 31,||Change|
|Cost of revenues|
|Interactive toys - animation series||$||140,450||$||1,331,731||$||(1,191,281||)||(89.45)||%|
|Interactive toys - game series||4,340,776||5,503,184||(1,162,408||)||(21.12)||% |
|Total cost of revenues||$||8,672,150||$||11,179,903||$||(2,507,753||)||(22.43||)%|
Our cost of revenues from interactive toys - game series decreased by $1.16 million or 21.12% from $5.50 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 to $4.34 million for the year ended December 31, 2021. The decrease in cost of revenues from interactive toys – game series is due to the revenue decrease resulting from the decrease in purchasing resulting from COVID-19.
Our cost of revenues from interactive toys - animation series decreased by $1.19 million or 89.45% from $1.33million for the year ended December 31, 2020 to $0.14 million for the year ended December 31, 2021. The decrease in cost of revenues from interactive toys - animation series is also due to the revenue decrease resulting from the decrease in purchasing resulting from COVID-19.
Our cost of revenues from mobile games increased by $2.88 million or 27218.58% from $10,577 for the year ended December 31, 2020 to $2.89 million for the year ended December 31, 2021. The cost of revenue from mobile games increased because the cost of the game is divided into two parts, amortization of related development costs and operating costs, some of mobile games were developed and operated on an outsourced basis, the cost of revenue increased.