Maoyan Weying, China’s biggest online movie ticketing firm, is planning an IPO in Hong Kong that could raise $1bn, Bloomberg reports.

The firm has not yet confirmed the move, though Bloomberg cited people with knowledge of the matter.

Maoyan Weying has reportedly held talks with potential advisers about the share sale, and is targeting a listing later this year. It is yet to comment officially on the matter.

The company, which is backed by Beijing Enlight Media and Tencent Holdings, was formed in September 2017 through the merger of rival ticketing platforms Maoyan and Beijing Weiying Technology.

A spokeswoman for China’s largest group-buying and restaurant reviews service, Meituan, which also backs the firm, confirmed to Bloomberg that Maoyan Weying plans to seek a listing, without elaborating further.

Last year, China’s box office revenue jumped more than 15 per cent to 52bn yuan ($8bn/€6.6bn/£6bn), making it the second largest cinema market after the US.

Around 80 per cent of all China’s movie tickets are sold through mobile apps, with Maoyan Weying taking the crown as the largest ticketing provider with a 52.5 per cent market share as of the third quarter 2017, according to researcher Analysys.

Maoyan Weying raised 1bn yuan from Tencent in a November funding round that valued the company at 20bn yuan. In addition to its ticketing platform, the company has also distributed and marketed movies in China including ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’.