Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi eyes US IPO at $100 billion valuation, report says

Didi Chuxing's D1 electric ride-hailing vehicle.Didi Chuxing‘s D1 electric ride-hailing vehicle.

China’s top ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing is eyeing the US for its initial public offering, targeting at least a $US100 ($131) billion valuation to capitalize on the post-pandemic rebound, Reuters first reported.

The Chinese firm is said to be weighing its options between New York and Hong Kong for its IPO. However, two sources told Reuters that there were concerns of tighter regulatory scrutiny of the company’s business operations in the Asian city, such as its use of unlicensed vehicles and part-time drivers. Didi in 2019 was fined by Shanghai authorities for using unlicensed vehicles.

Moreover, a source told Reuters that an IPO in New York is not only more predictable but also offers more capital.

Another source reinforced the company’s inclination to list in the US by pointing to Didi’s smaller rival Dida. Dida filed for an IPO in Hong Kong last October, and, since then, has been responding to several queries from the exchange mainly related to business compliance.

However, if the US listing is successful, the company is also open to a second listing in Hong Kong, a source told Reuters.

The company, which operates in 14 countries outside China, was also reported to have considered listing via a special purpose acquisition company.

The Beijing-based Didi, founded by a former Alibaba Group employee in 2012, does not have a fixed location or timeline for its IPO, Reuters said. But a report last week by Bloomberg said Didi could be looking to go public next quarter at the earliest.

The company’s listing in the US adds to the record of Chinese firms looking to tap American investors in recent years. In 2020, Chinese companies raised $US12 ($16) billion in US listings, triple the amount in 2019, according to Refinitiv data reported by Reuters.

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