Chinese short-video and livestreaming startup Kuaishou, backed by Tencent, is expected to go public in Hong Kong this year, as the company's recent value has risen to 18 billion U.S. dollars, Chinese news website Jiemian citing people familiar with the matter said.

This is not the first time that plans of Kuaishou listing in Hong Kong have emerged. Earlier the year, financial magazine Caijing reported that the company was preparing for an IPO and could be listed in Hong Kong as soon as the second half of the year. But the company did not confirm the news.

Kuaishou's latest funding has raised 1 billion U.S. dollars and brought investors such as China's tech giant Tencent, which led its D round financing in March 2017, and venture capital firm Sequoia Capital China, which participated in its B round financing in 2014.

Founded in 2011, Kuaishou, or "fast hand" in Chinese, is a popular Chinese app in the same vein as Instagram. The latest data from Kuaishou, which is also backed by Baidu Inc, showed that the number of daily active users on its platform has exceed 100 million, and that it attracted more than 700 million users as a whole.

In December 2017, a report from Chinese big data service provider Jiguang said that Kuaishou's penetration rate in China reached 22.8 percent, holding safely the top place in this aspect, as the figure was beyond that of its following-ranked three rivals combined.

At the same time, Kuaishou also began to make inroads into abroad markets. As Jiemian reported that a majority of its latest funding will be used in overseas expansion and investment.

The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited proposed in December to let innovative companies list with dual-class share structures, which will result in the drop of the long-held principal of one-share-one-vote.

Besides Kuaishou, China's mobile phone maker Xiaomi, online financial asset trading company Lufax, among other high-tech and financial companies, are expected to be listed in Hong Kong this year, being the first batch of dual-class share structures.