Photograph by Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images
By Kia Kokalitcheva
May 16, 2016

Uber and its Chinese rival, Didi Chuxing, are in a new race: to go public.

Didi Chuxing, currently the dominant ride-hailing company in China, is reportedly targeting an initial public offering in one of New York’s exchanges in 2017, according to a report from Bloomberg, citing anonymous sources. The timing will depend on how its fight against Uber progresses, according to the report.

Didi, which revealed a $1 billion investment from tech giant Apple last week, is in the midst of raising a round that could total as much as $3 billion, according to reports from Bloomberg and other outlets. Its valuation will reportedly be at least $25.5 billion, likely more. The company says it now has more than 14 million drivers in more than 400 cities, and completes over 11 million rides per day.

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Didi’s short timeline for going public could put additional pressures on Uber, whose co-founder and CEO, Travis Kalanick, has been open about wanting to delay going public for as long as possible, despite pressures from investors like Benchmark’s Bill Gurley.

The two companies have been aggressively competing. In China, despite Uber’s claims of rapid growth, Didi still has a majority share of the market. Last year, Didi announced partnerships with Uber rivals in the U.S. (Lyft), India (Ola), and Southeast Asia (Grab), that will let the companies’ customers book rides through the other services when traveling.


Uber’s Kalanick admitted last year that his company was losing $1 billion per year in China as it works to expand its operations there. Didi has not publicly shared its financials, but it has reportedly reached the break-even point in half of its cities, according to Bloomberg.

At the valuation it’s reportedly seeking with its current funding round, Didi’s IPO could be the largest of a Chinese company, dethroning Alibaba’s at $25 billion in 2014. Along with Apple, Didi’s current investors include Alibaba, SoftBank, and Tencent.

A Didi Chuxing spokeswoman told Fortune that the company “does not currently have IPO plans.”

The story has been updated with comment from Didi Chuxing.


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