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Five months after the start of its listing in the United States, the “Chinese Uber” indicates that it will register in Hong Kong. A decision that comes a few hours after the adoption in the United States of more restrictive rules for foreign companies listed there.
From our correspondent in Beijing,
The announcement fell at 9 a.m. Beijing time on Friday morning on the Sina-Weibo social network. A very short message: “After careful consideration, the company has started a process of delisting from the New York Stock Exchange with immediate effect and has started the preparatory work for a listing in Hong Kong” says the press release from Didi Chunxing. A maturing reflection, but which has greatly accelerated in the last days. This departure is not a surprise, but a confirmation. It comes a week after the cyberspace administration asked the Chinese ridesharing giant to leave New York according to the Bloomberg agency.
Data security survey
For their part, the United States have just put a turn of the screw on foreign companies, authorizing to withdraw from the quotation the companies which do not have their accounts audited by an approved agency. Accounts and data are precisely what obsesses the Chinese state. The successful introduction of the “Chinese Uber” on the New York Stock Exchange on June 30, enabled Didi to raise $ 4.4 billion.
It was also the start of trouble for Didi. The Chinese regulator has since multiplied the investigations on the giant of the VTC, whose share has lost 45% of its value. Authorities said they had found “serious violations” in the way the company collected and stored the personal data of users of the app, which allows you to order taxis and cars with drivers, without giving further details. Public companies would then have declared themselves interested in a buyout of the company, what the group denied. Didi was then ordered to remove 25 of its applications on online platforms and banned from recruiting new customers.
Capturing technological stocks
Since the last-minute suspension of Ant’s entry to Wall Street, a subsidiary of Alibaba and the world’s number one online payments company, the Chinese government is pushing the Chinese digital giants to sell their shares on the domestic market. The goal is to capture the value of tech industries by redirecting four decades of Chinese growth and savings to local businesses, rather than investing in real estate.
The new Beijing Stock Exchange launched last month aims to support SMEs, while dissuading Chinese “tech” from turning to the United States. It is also a way of competing with the financial center of Hong Kong, where since February the Hang Seng Tech index has fallen by 50%. Before carrying out his transfer there, Didi Chunxing will have to settle his dispute with the regulator concerning data security. Fearing a transfer of sensitive data to the United States, the Chinese authorities would consider according to Bloomberg decidedly very familiar with the matter, to prohibit all Chinese companies from entering foreign stock markets.
Didi, whose logo in the shape of a big red “D” turned upside down on his stomach, is known to all Chinese who have a smartphone, carries out nearly 90% of orders for cars with drivers, and therefore has a wealth of personal information on its users, data considered at risk by the regime.