Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing made its initial public offering public on Thursday, as ride-hailing services resume with a recurrence of the pandemic.
Founded in Beijing in 2012, Didi started out as a taxi-hailing service before expanding into other forms of transportation. In 2015, it merged with another Chinese rival, Kuadi Dache, to become Didi Chuxing.
Didi dominates China. In 2016, Uber, which was spending heavily to grow in China, sold its Chinese operations to Didi. (Uber was given a stake in the resulting company.) Didi now operates in 15 countries, including Brazil and Mexico.
The company’s IPO may come under close scrutiny amid a wave of other technology offerings and Beijing has begun to rein in the domestic tech giant. Didi was valued at $56 billion in 2017 and its investors include Japan’s SoftBank and Abu Dhabi State Fund Mubadala.
Didi’s filing, made under its formal name, Jiaoju Kuezhi, showed revenue fell 8 percent to $21.63 billion last year, as passenger numbers declined during the pandemic. The company lost $1.6 billion last year, although it reported a profit of $30 million in the first quarter of this year. Like most ride-hailing companies, Didi has historically been unprofitable.
Didi said an IPO would fund the expansion.
“We aspire to be a truly global technology company,” Didi founders Cheng Wei and Jean Liu wrote in a letter accompanying the filing. “What we have learned and built is relevant around the world – in Latin America, Russia, South Africa or anywhere where affordable, safe and convenient mobility is valued.”
Other ride-hailing services have reported that business is recovering. Last month, Uber said revenue for the first three months of the year — excluding the cost of a settlement — rose 8 percent to $3.5 billion from a year earlier. The company suffered a loss of $108 million.
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