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Didi exits US stock market just months after huge offer

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Didi Chuxing, the Chinese Uber-esque ride-hailing champion and once considered the world’s most successful start-up, said Friday it would begin delisting its New York-traded shares and prepare for a public offering. in Hong Kong.

The move is sure to resonate outside of China, particularly in Washington and on Wall Street. Just in June, Didi sold shares to global investors in a New York IPO, which valued the company at $69 billion. The abrupt turn of events after just six months is likely to infuriate investors, who bid the company’s price this summer when it quoted.

In a statement in China, Didi said the board of directors had authorized the process of delisting from the New York Stock Exchange. The securities traded in the United States will be “convertible into freely tradable shares” of the company on another stock exchange, it said.

“The company will organize a shareholders’ meeting at an appropriate time in the future to vote on the above issue, following the necessary procedures,” said Didi.

The move to delisting comes as officials in both the United States and China become increasingly skeptical about Chinese firms’ long-standing access to Wall Street and its money.

It also comes as Beijing’s top leaders are taking steps to gain more control over Didi and the private technology sector. While some analysts have welcomed the long-needed regulatory measures to control consumer data and end anti-competitive practices, others fear the measures could hurt the competitiveness of the country’s dynamic private technology giants.

Chinese officials rushed to reassure investors about the importance of private industry, but China’s drive to tame its internet giants has already worried investors that a push for social control will only extend deeper into the economy.

The line between private and state control has already blurred under Xi Jinping, China’s supreme leader, as new emphasis has been placed on developing Chinese Communist Party committees within private companies. Beijing recently imposed strict new limits on the time of children’s video games, crushed the after-school education sector and imposed limits on the online fandom of celebrities. An antitrust campaign targeting the technology industry has also left untouched the large state monopolies that dominate key sectors such as energy, telecommunications and banking.

With 377 million annual active users in China and services in 16 other countries, Didi Chuxing is celebrated in China as a homegrown tech champion. It beat out its US rival, Uber, and bought its Chinese operations in 2016. Promises to use its databases to unravel traffic and develop technologies for self-driving cars made its executives icons as Chinese officials called for a more innovative one. build economy.

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