Just days after Didi Global Inc., China’s version of Uber, pulled off a $4.4 billion initial public offering in New York, the Chinese cyberspace regulator effectively ordered it removed from app stores in its home market, citing security risks. The ruling doesn’t stop the company from operating -– its half-billion or so existing users will still be able to order rides for now. Still its shares fell in New York below its IPO price on July 6 as China said it’s increasing supervision and revising rules for overseas listings of Chinese companies -- just the latest example of the country asserting control over Big Tech.
It’s China’s biggest ride-hailing company. Didi squeezed Uber out of China five years ago, buying out the American company’s operations after an expensive price war. Its blockbuster IPO on June 30 was the second-biggest in the U.S. by a company based in China, after Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, giving Didi a market value of about $68 billion. Accounting for stock options and restricted stock units, the company’s diluted value exceeds $71 billion -- well below estimates of up to $100 billion as recently as a few months ago. The relatively modest showing reflects both investors’ increasing caution over pricey growth stocks, and China’s recent crackdown on its biggest tech players.