Didi has started preparations to delist from the New York stock exchange and debut shares in Hong Kong as it bows to pressure from Beijing.
The ride-hailing giant plans to list its Hong Kong shares in March Bloomberg first reported. In a Weibo announcement Didi said its board had authorised the delisting in New York of its American depositary shares “while ensuring that ADSs will be convertible into freely tradable shares of the Company on another internationally recognised stock exchange”.
Didi drew the ire of Chinese regulators with a $4.4bn New York initial public offering in June, which made it the biggest listing by a Chinese company in the US since Alibaba in 2014. Days later, regulators ordered Didi’s app to be taken off Chinese app stores and the company was banned from taking on new customers.
With tensions running high between the US and China regulators last week took things a step further and demanded that Didi delist. Beijing’s Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the body that has cracked down on the likes of Ant Group and Alibaba in the last year, asked the company’s leaders to remove Didi from its US listing due to concerns over a potential leak of sensitive data.
Didi’s announcement of its plan to move shares to Hong Kong came just ahead of the end of a six-month lock-up at the end of December that will allow company shareholders to begin dumping New York stock.