Artists of 100Most sing a song to promote their coming talk show. Photo: TVMost.com.hk

Whoever thinks the media industry is dead, think again. Most Kwai Chung, operator of a popular online video and other media, is set to become Hong Kong’s hottest initial public offering.

The young company founded by three former radio disc jockeys recorded an oversubscription of near 2,900 times from retail investors who put up HK$24 billion (US$3.06 billion) in the IPO’s first two days.

If this momentum continues, Most Kwai Chung is set to top Magnum, a nightclub operator in Lan Kwai Fong, which attracted a 3,558-times subscription.

So why is Most Kwai Chung hotter than the mainland offering iQiyi, a Baidu unit that plans to list in United States, and possibly Xiaomi, which plans to list in Hong Kong and/or mainland China?

It is because Most Kwai Chung, which plans to raise HK$81 million, represents how local creativity can rejuvenate the boring advertising market.

The content-production house was set up by Tsui Ka-ho (pen name Lam Yat-hei), Iu Kar-ho (popularly dubbed Ah Bu) and Luk Ka-chun (pen name Chan Keung) and started with a HK$1 single-sheet magazine called Blackpaper in 2010, but they pulled their enterprise together against the meltdown of traditional media like Television Broadcasts (TVB) and Apple Daily.

Read: Upstart TVMost applies for listing on Hong Kong exchange

In fact, Most Kwai Chung creates its content in a humorous tone like Apple Daily but derives content from TVB. The large chunk of profits was from digital ads, most remembered for featuring actor and Cantopop star Leon Lai for Nescafe and comedian Dayo Wong for DBS credit cards.

And it even made profits somewhat greater than firms under the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies of Hong Kong (commonly known as HK4As). For the fiscal year ended March 2017, it made a profit of HK$36.23 million, up by more than 62% year on year. However, in the eight months ended last November, its profit fell 84% to HK$5.17 million from the same period of 2016. 

Each of the three founders owns 30% of Most Kwai Chung. The remaining 10% is owned by One Media Group, a subsidiary of Media Chinese International, which publishes Ming Pao, paid HK$1 million in 2012 for its stake. Now is the crunch time for Media Chinese International. Its stock on Monday quadrupled in the wake of the strong investor response to Most Kwai Chung’s IPO.

Most Kwai Chung, which will make its debut on March 28 by issuing 67.5 million shares at between HK$1 and HK$1.20 each, is quite creative to choose to locate its headquarters in Kwai Chung, New Territories, best known for its container businesses, yet no listed company in Hong Kong has up to now included the area’s name in its own.

Think about how much these guys would make if the stock went up 10 times. Creativity is all that matters.