Used electronics marketplace Aihuishou lists on NYSE

Business & Technology

Second hand isn’t so cheap any more, at least not if you’re investing in Chinese platforms for trading in used goods of all kinds. Aihuishou, which focuses on connecting buyers and sellers of used mobile phones and computers, just IPO’d in New York giving the company a value of $3.5 billion.

a bull jumping through heart with stock chart
Illustration by Derek Zheng

Until recently, there was a common view that Chinese people did not like to buy second hand stuff. But now consumers and investors are flocking to websites and apps for used cars, electronics, and clothing and accessories.

Aihuishou (爱回收 ài huíshōu, literally, “Love Recycling”), China’s largest trading platform for secondhand consumer electronics, listed last Friday on the New York Stock Exchange at $14 a share — a market value of $3.5 billion (in Chinese).

  • Aihuishou is backed by ecommerce giant, which held 34% of it pre-IPO.
  • Trading as RERE, Aishouhui’s shares jumped by around 28% from their listing price of $14 when trading began on Friday, before settling back to $14.56 at the end of trading today.

The “decade-old, money-losing company, which has rebranded its platform as “ATRenew,” has impressed investors with its “hybrid business model, which combines its online platform with more than 750 offline stores and kiosks, a combination that aims to bridge the trust gap between consumers who buy second-hand products and those who sell them,” per Caixin.

  • Aihuishou began in 2011 as a cell phone recycling and metals recovery company. The platform benefited greatly from Apple’s success in China, which created a second hand market for older iPhones.
  • In a letter accompanying the IPO, the founder, Chén Xuěfēng 陈雪峰, recalled just how far the team had come: “Not long ago, we would be mistaken as a company that did cell phone repairs.”

Investors have been bullish on secondhand goods markets of late. Similar platforms such as Bear U Rental 小熊U租 (used computers) and Che Hao Duo / Guazi 瓜子 (used cars) have also received funding.