The company wrote on its official Weibo account on Friday that it would begin the delisting process and prepare to go public in Hong Kong.
The company said its board of directors authorized the delisting in New York of its US depository shares “while ensuring that ADSs are convertible into freely tradable shares of the company on another internationally recognized stock exchange.”
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Tech Index, which tracks 30 of China’s biggest tech companies, fell 2.4% on Friday on the news. Alibaba e-commerce group lost 5.3%, Meituan food delivery service fell 4.8%, and Internet group Tencent lost 3.2%.
Regulators ordered the removal of Didi’s app from nationwide app stores in July, days after the rideshare group raised $ 4.4 billion in the largest Chinese listing in the United States from Alibaba in 2014. The company was also banned from registering new users.
The initial public offering, which ended just days before the Chinese Communist Party celebrated its centenary, angry party and government officials who felt the group had brushed aside concerns about its national security and to its vast treasure trove of cartography and other sensitive data.
Didi launched its New York IPO amid a long crackdown on domination by China’s biggest tech groups. The regulatory assault began in November 2020, when President Xi Jinping ordered a last-minute halt to the double listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong of Ant Group, Jack Ma’s fintech platform.
Ma, once the richest and most famous entrepreneur in the country, angered Xi and other officials by criticizing Chinese financial regulators weeks before the scheduled IPO, which was to be the largest in the world never recorded.
Since the slippage was announced, Ma, who also founded the Alibaba e-commerce platform, has since practically disappeared from public view.
Didi’s rush to delist comes just before the end of a six-month blockade at the end of December that would allow company executives and nearly all of its shareholders to begin selling shares in New York City. .
“The government can order something without realizing how complicated it is,” said a lawyer in Beijing, who believed Didi executives would likely need to bring their actions to make such a transaction feasible.
Didi said he would hold a shareholder vote on the matter in the future.
Additional reporting by Emma Zhou in Beijing and William Langley in Hong Kong
Register here in one click