|Company Name||Qutoutiao Inc.|
|Class Period||September 14, 2018 to July 15, 2020|
|Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline||October 19, 2020|
In September 2018, the Company completed its IPO, selling 13.8 million ADSs at $7.00 per share.
On December 10, 2019, Wolfpack Research published a report, alleging among other things, that the Company had overstated its revenues by recording non-existent advances from advertising customers. Moreover, the report alleged that Qutoutiao replaced its third-party advertising agent with a related party, thereby bypassing the agent’s oversight and allowing the Company to “perpetrate the unmitigated ad fraud that [Wolfpack] observed in [its] sample.”
On this news, the Company’s share price fell $0.12, nearly 4%, to close at $2.86 per share on December 11, 2019, on unusually heavy trading volume
On July 15, 2020, hosts of a consumer rights gala stated that Qutoutiao had allowed ads on its platform promoting exaggerated or impossible claims from weight-loss products. For example, one such ad offered free weight-loss products valued at $14,300 that would help users lose more than 30 pounds a month.
On this news, the Company’s share price fell $0.85, or 23%, to close at $2.84 per share on July 16, 2020, on unusually heavy trading volume.
The complaint filed in this class action alleges that Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants failed to disclose to investors: : (1) that Qutoutiao replaced its advertising agent with a related party, thereby bypassing third-party oversight of the content and quality of the advertisements; (2) that the Company placed advertisements on its mobile app for products whose claims could not be substantiated and thus were considered false advertisements under applicable regulations; (3) that, as a result, the Company would face increasing regulatory scrutiny and reputational harm; (4) that, as a result, the Company’s advertising revenue was reasonably likely to decline; and (5) that, as a result of the foregoing, Defendants’ positive statements about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects, were materially misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.
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