China-based ridesharing tech platform DiDi will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange and pursue listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, according to multiple reports and a press release from the company.
Without naming the new exchange, DiDi said existing shares “will be convertible into freely tradable shares” on another stock exchange, according to late press release Thursday. The new exchange is in Hong Kong, a city which has lost a lot of independence from mainland China in recent years.
DiDi, which operates in Central America, Africa, Asia-Pacific, Russia, and China, was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange last summer, which allegedly angered Communist Party officials in Beijing, according to Bloomberg News.
Didi intends to apply for registration in Hong Kong sometime in March, people familiar with the case have said, asking not to be identified as the plans have not been made public. Based on the normal process in Hong Kong, he might aim for a summer registration if all goes well. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The unprecedented move underscores the depth of Beijing’s concern over the potential leak of sensitive data to its geopolitical rival, as well as the extent to which the government will punish Didi for violating his wishes.
Officials in Beijing were said to have been most concerned about DiDi’s independence and may not have received approval from the Chinese government until it was listed in New York.
The unusual delisting is just one of the latest strains of the New Cold War, which saw China and the United States outright ban various companies from doing business in their respective countries.. The issue of “national security” is usually raised, especially when technology is involved.
China’s Huawei has been the subject of U.S. bans for the past five years, in large part because the telecommunications company is growing rapidly around the world. The United States has banned Huawei equipment from the U.S. 5G deployment, following in the footsteps of other New Cold Warrior countries like Australia.