Maoyan, China’s largest mobile ticketing platform, could be set for an IPO in the coming years according to the head of the operator’s parent company, Enlight Media.

Maoyan, which is believed to account for a third of the huge Chinese market, recorded a loss in 2016, but expects to be profitable this year.

Chinese companies must be profitable over a combined three-year period before their shares can be listed, and television and film company Enlight Media’s founder and chairman Wang Changtian told reporters, according to China Money Network, that a public offering its ticketing division was being considered.

Maoyan was a pioneer in the mobile ticketing market when it was launched by on-demand services firm Meituan in 2012. It was spun off by its owner last April before Enlight acquired a controlling interest in May 2017 for $350m (£272m/€312m) in cash and six per cent of its shares.

Maoyan’s ticketing market share in China

During the first two months of 2017, Maoyan held a 33 per cent share of China’s mobile ticketing market, while Alibaba’s Taopiaopiao and Tencent’s Weipiao had 30 per cent and 16 per cent shares respectively, according to data shared by Taopiaopiao.

The company’s services cover over 4,000 cinemas that account for over 90 per cent of box office sales in China as of 2015, according to the latest numbers available from Chinese media reports.

Image: Nicolas Raymond