Uber rival and Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi files for IPO


China’s largest ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing on Thursday made public its filing for a US stock market listing in what is expected to be the world’s largest initial public offering this year.

The company – backed by Asia’s biggest technology investment firms SoftBank, Alibaba and Tencent – did not disclose the size of the offering, but sources familiar with the matter previously told Reuters that the ride-hailing giant raised about $10 billion. and a valuation of around $100 billion.

At that valuation, Didi’s stock market flotation would be the largest Chinese stock offering in the United States since Alibaba raised $25 billion in its blockbuster IPO in 2014.

In its filing on Thursday, Didi disclosed slowing revenue growth in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought the global ride-hailing industry to a halt as lockdowns were enforced around the world.

For 2020, Didi reported revenue of 141.7 billion yuan ($22.17 billion), up from 154.8 billion yuan a year earlier. The net loss in 2020 stood at 10.6 billion yuan, compared to 9.7 billion yuan a year ago.

Didi, however, got off to a strong start to 2021 as businesses reopened in China. Revenue for the three months ended March 31 more than doubled to 42.2 billion yuan (US$6.4 billion) from 20.5 billion yuan a year earlier.

A man carries a pile of shared sister bikes
Didi reports that its revenue has more than doubled in the first three months of 2021 as businesses reopen in China.
VCG via Getty Images

Chinese IPO Gold Rush

Didi had applied for its IPO in April in secret. On Thursday, a source familiar with the matter said Didi was aiming to go public in July.

The mega IPO highlights the lucrative business opportunity presented by Asian tech giants to Wall Street’s big investment banks.

Earlier this year, Grab, Singapore’s largest ride-hailing firm, struck a $40 billion deal with a special-purpose acquisition company backed by investment firm Altimeter to go public in the United States.

Last year, Chinese companies raised $12 billion from US listings, more than three times the amount raised in 2019, according to Refinitiv data. This year, growth from Chinese floats on US exchanges is expected to comfortably surpass that of last year.

Didi, which merged with then-main rival Quadi in 2015 to form a smartphone-based transportation services giant, counts as its core business users taxis, privately owned cars, car-pool options and more One can even enjoy buses in some cities. .

The company said Didi plans to list American Depository Shares (ADS) on the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “DIDI”.

Didi chief executive Cheng Wei said last year the firm aims to have 800 million monthly active users globally and fulfill 100 million orders a day by 2022, including ride-sharing, bike and food delivery orders.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan are the principal underwriters of the offering.

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