Didi: Chinese ride-hailing behemoth makes its $68 billion US debut.

Didi Global, the Chinese ride-hailing company, has ended its first day on the New York Stock Exchange with a valuation of $68.49 billion (£49.6 billion).

This despite the fact that its shares closed just 1% higher than their $14 offering price, reversing earlier strong gains.

It was the largest listing by a Chinese company in the United States since Alibaba’s debut in 2014.

In its initial public offering, China’s answer to Uber raised $4.4 billion (IPO).

It is the latest in a long line of Chinese firms to profit from the booming US stock market.

According to financial markets data provider Refinitiv, 29 Chinese companies raised a total of $7.6 billion in IPOs in the first six months of the year.

This is despite years of tensions between Washington and Beijing, as well as concerns raised by US regulators about the financial reports of some Chinese firms.

According to a March report by Reuters, Didi had hoped for a valuation of up to $100 billion.

Those expectations were said to have been reduced after potential investors expressed concerns about the firm’s expansion plans’ speed and profitability.

Didi, like most ride-hailing platforms, had been losing money until it reported a $30 million profit in the first three months of this year.

As a result of the pandemic, it reported a $1.6 billion annual loss in 2020.

Didi was investigated by China’s market watchdog in June of this year, according to reports.

According to Reuters, the State Administration for Market Regulation was looking into whether it was unfairly squeezing out smaller competitors.

Beijing has been tightening the reins on the country’s technology behemoths, such as Alibaba and Tencent.

Cheng Wei, the company’s founder, has stated that he had the idea to launch a ride-hailing platform in 2012 after struggling to book a taxi on a cold night in Beijing.

Mr Cheng will have a 6.5 percent stake in the company but 35.5 percent voting power due to a popular dual-class share structure among technology firms.

With a stake of more than 20%, Japan’s SoftBank is Didi’s largest single investor. Alibaba and Tencent, two Chinese technology behemoths, are also on board.

As a result of Didi’s acquisition of Uber China in 2016, Uber now owns 12% of the company.

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