De-listing could form part of a raft of punishments for Didi, which infuriated Chinese officials by ploughing ahead with its US IPO despite pushback from Beijing.
BEIJING: Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing said Friday it would start the process of de-listing its shares from the New York stock exchange, shortly after US regulators adopted a rule that would allow them to remove foreign firms.
Didi’s move comes in the wake of a sweeping Chinese regulatory crackdown in the past year that has clipped the wings of major internet firms wielding huge influence on consumers’ lives — including Alibaba and Tencent — and just months after its mammoth New York debut.
“After careful consideration, (Didi) will start the process of de-listing from the New York stock exchange from today, and start preparations for listing in Hong Kong,” the company said in a statement on social media.
The ride-hailing firm’s IPO in June had been quickly overshadowed by an investigation by China’s internet watchdog on the grounds of cybersecurity, launched just days after the listing.
According to a report by Bloomberg last week, a de-listing could form part of a raft of punishments for Didi, which infuriated Chinese officials by ploughing ahead with its US IPO despite pushback from Beijing.
Beijing wanted Didi’s executives to take the company off the exchange over worries about sensitive data leakage, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
Chinese companies could also face fresh scrutiny in Wall Street exchanges after US market regulators on Thursday announced the adoption of a rule allowing them to delist foreign companies if they fail to provide information to auditors.
The move is aimed primarily at Chinese firms, and requires them to disclose whether they are “owned or controlled” by a government.
Didi has been hit especially hard by the state’s clampdown on tech companies, with its service ordered off app stores in July and government agencies launching on-site inspections at its offices over “national security” fears.
The de-listing decision marks the latest blow to Didi, which had raised $4.4 billion in its New York IPO.
Didi’s shares closed 0.13% down to $7.80 in its last trading session, compared with an IPO price of $14.
The firm is currently valued at around $38 billion, well below the $77 billion when it listed.
Didi’s app claims to have more than 15 million drivers and nearly 500 million users, and is often the fastest and easiest way to call a ride in crowded Chinese cities.Internet Explorer Channel Network