Chinese Ride-Hello Giant Didi Makes Her Wall Street Debut


DidiChina’s leading ride-hailing platform made its Wall Street debut Wednesday, marking a year when ride-hailing and travel companies struggled to overcome intermittent pandemic lockdowns.

Didi began trading at $16.82 on the New York Stock Exchange, a 20 percent increase from its $14 per share bid price. However, investor interest cooled during the day, and Didi closed the company’s valuation at $14.20, pegging at more than $69 billion.

As Wall Street continued to embrace technology companies that grew rapidly regardless of their ability to make a profit, the company made its debut by trading under the code DIDI. In particular, ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft have proven to be wasteful money losers, often spending billions of dollars each year.

Didi is no exception. It lost $1.6 billion last year, but reported a profit of $30 million in the first quarter of this year. The company said in a regulatory filing that revenues fell 8 percent last year to $21.63 billion due to the pandemic.

Despite its dominance in China and other countries, Didi may face unusual scrutiny from investors amid ongoing tensions between the US and China. The American government has placed some Chinese tech companies on lists that restrict their ability to do business with the United States or its trading partners.

“Didi is at the center of the US-China cold tech war for good and for bad,” said Daniel Ives, general manager of stock research at Wedbush Securities. “It was a successful IPO that came out of the gates,” he said, but it still has a lot to prove to investors concerned about tensions between the countries.

Investors may also be wary of regulators in Didi’s home country. China’s antitrust authorities have begun to aggressively scrutinize the country’s major internet companies. Last year, Chinese regulators began cracking down on what they call unfair and anti-competitive business practices in the internet industry.

“Regulators in China are already targeting them,” said David Trainer, CEO of New Constructs, an investment research firm.

A taxi industry group Wrote In December, the country’s antitrust watchdog urged the agency to take a second look at Didi’s 2016 purchase of Uber’s business in China. researched sale on antitrust grounds without any action. The letter accused Didi of using unfair subsidies to retain passengers and of issuing travel orders to unlicensed drivers and vehicles.

In April, Didi was one of nearly three dozen Chinese internet companies. pulled before regulators He ordered them to abide by the rules of antimonopoly and “put the interests of the nation first”.

Didi promptly issued a statement from the antitrust regulator. published on their websiteswears to “promote the development and prosperity of socialist culture and science” and to strictly abide by the law. Mr Trainer said regulatory pressure has raised questions about whether Didi will be allowed to grow enough to be consistently profitable.

Both Didi and Uber have made Latin America a focal point for their respective industries. global expansion. But the region continues to experience increasing coronavirus caseloadspotentially throwing a wrench into their growth plans.

“How are they going to do it in places like Africa, the Middle East or South America? Are you going to greet a Didi or an Uber?” Drew Bernstein, co-chairman of Marcum BP, an audit and consulting firm focused on Asia, said:

Didi Dache was founded in Beijing in 2012 and merged with Chinese rival Kuaidi Dache in 2015 to form Didi Chuxing. The rise of Didi in China mirrored the rise of other tech powerhouses, including TikTok’s parent ByteDance and food delivery giant Meituan.

Although Uber tried to compete in the Chinese market, it eventually sold its Chinese operations to Didi in exchange for a stake in the company. Now that Didi is publicly traded, Uber’s stock is worth about $8 billion.

Two separate events In 2018, when Didi drivers raped and killed female passengers, her company make changes made it into service, but it did not seriously spoil its attractiveness for users. Still, Didi remained the leader, even as many companies, both large and small, had entered the car rental business in China.

Although Didi is dominant in China and operates in 16 other countries, including Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Russia, its valuation is considerably lower than Uber’s $94 billion. But unlike Uber’s first trade two years ago, Didi managed to stay above the IPO price on the first trading day. Didi dwarfs Lyft, the second-largest ride-hailing company in the United States, valued at nearly $20 billion.

Didi said it has the ability to grow further as it expands its business into new international markets. “We aim to be a truly global technology company,” Didi founders Cheng Wei and Jean Liu said in a letter included in the regulatory filing.

Didi became worth $56 billion In 2017 and its investors include SoftBank of Japan; Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala; China’s two main internet Goliaths are Alibaba and Tencent; and Apple, which 1 billion dollars invested To show its support to the Chinese market in 2016.

A number of Chinese businesses have sold shares on American stock markets in recent months, including those in industries like electric vehicles that have been trapped in trade tensions between Washington and Beijing. Chinese electric car maker Nio Raised $2.6 billion It’s on the New York Stock Exchange in December offering.

Before leaving office this year, President Donald J. Trump banned americans Investing in companies identified as having ties to the Chinese military. But with his rule he did not progress braking efforts Access to American capital markets for a wider range of Chinese companies.


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