Groggy traders loading up trading terminals are greeted with an unwelcoming sea of red of stock and futures worldwide. One key pain point is China tech, where Beijing has unleashed even harsher crackdowns on ridesharing company Didi Global, reportedly asking to delist from the New York Stock Exchange.
According to Bloomberg, the Cyberspace Administration of China has requested Didi’s top executives to develop a plan to delist from NYSE due to concerns about leakage of sensitive information. Proposals include privatization or a share float in Hong Kong.
Sources told Bloomberg that if privatization is the path regulators chose, the proposal would be around the $14 IPO price to avoid lawsuits or discontent among shareholders. There is also the possibility that regulators may withdraw the request.
“In our view, privatization is the more unlikely option and dual listing the business in Hong Kong makes more sense,” William Mileham, an analyst at Mirabaud Securities, told Bloomberg.
As a result, DIDI ADR shares plunged more than 5% to $7.76. Didi shares have been halved since its U.S. debut on the NYSE in July after Chinese regulators cracked down on the company by launching multiple investigations.
A delist from the NYSE could be troubling news for U.S.-listed Chinese firms as Washington and Beijing tensions heat up. One senior Chinese regulatory official said delistings would be a massive setback for relations with the U.S.
Even though there were no breakthroughs in last week’s virtual meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden – it appears relations between both countries continue to sour.
Meanwhile, Baidu shares fell 2% in the U.S. premarket, and Alibaba is down 3% amid a broader market slump after China tightens restrictions on advertising. Baidu shares sank 3.1% in Hong Kong on Friday, while Tencent declined 3%, Alibaba -4.7%, Kuaishou -8%. The Hang Seng Index closed down nearly 3%.
If Chinese regulators go ahead with the state-directed privatization – it would be the first time and show how Beijing remains hell-bent on curtailing the power of big tech companies in the country.
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