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Shares of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi gyrate after buzzy IPO

June 30, 2021, 7:55 PM UTC

Didi Global, the Beijing-based riding-hailing firm that dominates its home country of China, made its long-awaited debut as a public company on Wednesday, with its shares initially rising nearly 30% at one point before falling back to earth.

Trading under the ticker symbol DIDI, the company’s stock opened at $16.65 following an IPO priced at $14. While the company’s shares broke $18 early on, they subsequently slid to as low as $14.10 in midday trading, up only marginally from the IPO price.

Still, the IPO showed that U.S. investor demand is strong for Chinese tech companies that tap the American public markets, as many have in recent years.

In its IPO, Didi raised nearly $4.4 billion, the second-largest amount raised by a Chinese firm through a U.S. IPO, according to Dealogic. Only Alibaba Group, which raised $25 billion in its 2014 IPO, has collected more.

Based on its midday stock price, Didi had a market value of nearly $70 billion. That’s more than eBay and Twitter.

In the lead-up to Didi’s IPO, there was speculation that the company would pursue an even larger offering that would value it as high as $100 billion. Instead, Didi and its underwriters, led by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan Chase, pursued a smaller deal that was reportedly oversubscribed multiple times over.

Didi’s pre-IPO investors include Japanese investment giant SoftBank, its largest shareholder with a 21.5% stake, as well as its U.S.-based rival turned partner, Uber (12.8%), and Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent (6.8%). Another investor rewarded handsomely through the IPO is New York–based investment firm Tiger Global, which has seen its $100 million investment in Didi reap $1 billion in gains, according to Bloomberg.

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