Monday 26 July 2021 12:07 pm

Softbank’s bet on Chinese app Didi falls $4bn into the red

Softbank’s bumper bet on Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi has plunged $4bn (£2.9bn) into the red as authorities in Beijing crack down on the app following its New York stock market float.

The Japanese conglomerate took a 2.1 per cent stake in Didi worth $11.8bn in 2019, but its shareholding is now worth just $7.8bn, the Financial Times reported.

It comes after Chinese regulators ramped up the pressure on the app for alleged data security flaws, cutting its value almost in half.

Uber’s stake in Didi has also dropped by $2bn as China looks to publish US-listed firms.

Softbank’s stake in Didi, which was made through its Vision Fund, is its largest single bet on Chinese tech.

However, it has shareholders in a string of other Chinese companies, leaving it exposed to shifting regulatory pressures in the country.

Authorities have since turned their focus to Softbank-backed Full Track Alliance, sparking a 43 per cent fall in its share price since the start of July.

Popular app Keep, which recently scrapped plans for a US listing, and online education startup Zuoyebang are among other Vision Fund bets that could come under threat.

Shares in Didi, which debuted at $14 each in New York last month, dropped by a fifth to just over $8 on Friday amid reports China was planning to implement penalties on the company.

Earlier this year Beijing handed down a record $2.8bn fine to Alibaba over allegations it abused its market position over a number of years.

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