GOP Sen. Marco Rubio slams Didi’s US listing as ‘reckless and irresponsible’ – and calls it an unaccountable Chinese company

marco rubio ufo report
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

  • Sen. Marco Rubio blasted the “reckless and irresponsible” decision to grant Didi’s US listing in an FT interview.
  • He called Didi “unaccountable” as China’s government blocks US regulators from reviewing its accounts.
  • “That puts the investments of American retirees at risk and funnels desperately needed US dollars into Beijing,” Rubio said.
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Sen. Marco Rubio slammed the “reckless and irresponsible” decision to allow Chinese ride-hailing app maker Didi to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, speaking in a statement reported by the Financial Times Wednesday.

Rubio, one of the US government’s most vocal China critics, described Didi as an “unaccountable Chinese company,” and said Beijing’s regulatory crackdown on the tech provider, which sent the stock lower, highlights the risks for US investors.

Didi’s share price plunged more than 19% on Tuesday, after Chinese authorities at the weekend ordered app stores to remove its app from their platforms. The country’s internet regulator earlier launched a review of its data security, and ordered it to stop registering new users.

“Even if the stock rebounds, American investors still have no insight into the company’s financial strength because the Chinese Communist party blocks US regulators from reviewing the books,” Rubio told the FT. “That puts the investments of American retirees at risk and funnels desperately needed US dollars into Beijing.”

The type of business structure used by Didi “deprives foreign investors of vital legal protections they would otherwise enjoy through equity ownership,” the Council of Institutional Investors said in a 2017 paper.

The Republican senator’s comments suggest that Didi’s IPO saga could fuel new efforts by US lawmakers to place tougher hurdles in the way of Chinese companies seeking listings in the US.

Last year, former President Donald Trump signed legislation that banned Chinese companies from being listed on US markets unless they conformed to American accounting standards.

The “Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act” applies to companies from any country, but the sponsors of the law are seen as targeting it at Chinese companies listed in the US, such as Jack Ma’s Alibaba, tech firm Pinduoduo, and oil giant PetroChina.

Didi’s stock was last trading 4% lower in the pre-market session on Wednesday around 6.30 a.m. ET at $11.97 per share.

Read More: Goldman Sachs names 30 stocks to buy for double-digit revenue growth in 2022 – and 4 sectors expected to beat the S&P 500’s sales growth

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China orders the removal of the Didi app from stores, accusing the ride-hailing company of illegally collecting personal data

FILE PHOTO: A Didi sign is seen on a car during the China Internet Conference in Beijing, China June 21, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo
Didi sign is seen on a car during the China Internet Conference in Beijing.

  • Chinese regulators’ suspension of the Didi app comes days after the company’s New York IPO.
  • China’s cyberspace agency accused the company of “serious violations” of in both collecting and using personal data.
  • The company has said it would comply with the ban and make required changes.
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China on Sunday banned app stores from offering the Didi application, saying the ride-hailing company has been illegally collecting and using the personal data of users.

The move comes days after the company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. China has increasingly clamped down on big tech over issues ranging from anti-competitive behavior to privacy and security. Last week, its cyberspace agency said it had launched an investigation into Didi to protect the safety of citizens and its national security.

The Cyberspace Administration of China said Sunday on its website that the investigation found the Didi app “has serious violations of laws and regulations” in both collecting and using personal information. App stores were notified to remove Didi and “strictly follow the legal requirements.” The statement did not say what kind of information was allegedly being unlawfully collected or used.

Didi said in a statement posted on Weibo that it would comply and make necessary changes. Registration of new users has been suspended and the app “will be removed from the shelves for rectification in strict accordance with the requirements of the relevant departments,” the statement said.

Users who have downloaded the Didi App can use it normally, and passengers’ travel and driver’s orders will not be affected, the statement said.

Didi is the second-largest ride-hailing app by market value in the world with a valuation of about $86 billion. Uber currently has a valuation of about $93 billion, while Lyft trades at a $20 billion valuation.

Shares of Didi soared as much as 28% in its IPO debut in New York on Wednesday. The company’s debut was the second-largest among Chinese companies after e-commerce giant Alibaba’s initial public offering in 2014.

Didi sports a number of high-profile investors, including Apple, which invested $1 billion in the ride-hailing company in 2016. Meanwhile, the SoftBank Vision Fund holds a 21.5% stake in Didi, while Uber and Tencent own a 12.8% and 6.8% stake in the company, respectively, according to Bloomberg.

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Uber’s investment in Didi could help unlock 40% upside potential in the US ride hailing giant’s stock, Bank of America says

Uber
  • The IPO of Chinese ride-hailing company Didi could help unlock value for shares of Uber, according to Bank of America.
  • Uber owns a 12% stake in Didi, which hit a valuation of about $80 billion on its first day of trading on Wednesday.
  • BofA’s $71 price target for Uber represents potential upside of 40% from Thursday’s close.
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The recent IPO of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi could help unlock value in shares of Uber, Bank of America said in a note on Friday.

The bank argued that Uber’s 2016 investment in Didi is now worth almost $10 billion. Uber owns about 12% of Didi, which touched a valuation of nearly $80 billion in its first day of trading on Wednesday. Uber had most recently pegged the value of its Didi stake at $5.9 billion, meaning there is upside to Uber’s assigned asset value that could help boost the stock price.

“Based on 1.9 billion shares outstanding for Uber, we estimate that translates to an incremental ~$2 per share in equity value for Uber,” BofA explained.

The bank rates Uber at a “Buy” and has a $71 price target, representing potential upside of 40% from Thursday’s close. And there’s even further room higher based on a sum-of-the-parts valuation, in which the BofA assigns a $90 per share value for Uber. A move to $90 would represent potential upside of 78%.

Despite BofA’s bullish outlook for Uber, the stock has considerably underperformed its peers like Lyft and DoorDash year-to-date. Shares of Uber are down 1% year-to-date, while Lyft and DoorDash are up about 27% and 26%, respectively.

The bank highlighted four overhangs the stock is currently facing, including a large seller of Uber stock in June that may have impacted supply and demand dynamics, Uber’s guidance suggesting bigger driver incentives, Uber’s international exposure, and a larger-than-expected UK driver settlement amount.

“While it’s hard to say if any one of these issues is the core drive for Uber’s relative underperformance, we reiterate our Buy rating as we think some of the overhang could clear in 3Q with further reopening and vaccination progress,” BofA said.

The bank expects Uber to reach breakeven profitability by the end of the year.

Read more: Bank of America names 5 semiconductor stocks to buy for the 2nd half of 2021 – and breaks down why each has ‘catch-up potential’ after lagging since January

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Chinese ride-hailing company Didi became a retail favorite on its first day of trading

didi dirver
Reuters/Jason Lee

  • Didi has become a retail-investor favorite on its first day of trading, Fidelity data show.
  • The stock topped retail buys in Exela Technologies and AMC Entertainment.
  • Shares of the Chinese ride-hailing company surged as much as 28% during its IPO Wednesday.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Chinese ride-hailing company Didi has already become a retail-trader favorite in its first day on the public markets, Bloomberg first reported.

According to data from Fidelity, Didi shares ranked number one among retail traders Wednesday, while Exela Technologies, which has seen heightened interest from Reddit investors this week, was second, and well-known meme-stock AMC Entertainment was third.

Didi had more than 32,000 buy orders as of 3:15 p.m. in New York, compared to Exela and AMC, which each had about a third of that, the data showed.

Didi’s debut is the second largest among Chinese companies, after e-commerce giant Alibaba’s initial public offering in 2014. The shares soared as much as 28% in their first day of trading, giving Didi an approximate $86 billion valuation, Markets Insider reported.

The valuation makes Didi the second largest ride-hailing app in the world after Uber, which is valued at $93 billion.

Rumors about a potential IPO spread for several years before the company eventually filed its prospectus earlier this month, Fortune reported. Among Didi’s largest shareholders are investment firm SoftBank, which has a 21.5% stake, Uber, which has a 12.8% stake, and Tencent, which has a 6.8% stake, Fortune said.

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Didi soars 28% in largest IPO debut for a Chinese firm since Alibaba, valuing ride-hailing firm at $86 billion

Didi Chuxing's D1 at the launch event in Beijing on November 16, 2020
President of Didi Liu Qing and CEO of DiDi Cheng Wei and at the D1 launch event in Beijing on November 16, 2020.


Shares of Didi soared as much as 28% in its IPO debut on Wednesday, lending the Chinese ride-hailing platform a valuation of about $86 billion.

The firm priced its IPO at $14 per share and raised about $4.4 billion in proceeds, making it the largest IPO for a Chinese firm since Alibaba in 2014. At the IPO price, Didi was valued at about $67 billion. The company sold 317 million shares, and had guided for an IPO price range of $13-$14.

Didi is the second largest ride-hailing app by market value in the world. Uber currently sports a valuation of about $93 billion, while Lyft trades at a $20 billion valuation.

The company generated $1.6 billion in losses on $21.6 billion in revenue in 2020, representing a year-over-year revenue decline of about 10% due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to its SEC filings.

Didi sports a number of high profile investors, including Apple, which invested $1 billion in the ride-hailing company in 2016. Meanwhile, the SoftBank Vision Fund holds a 21.5% stake in Didi, while Uber and Tencent own a 12.8% and 6.8% stake in the company, respectively, according to Bloomberg.

Whether US investors will have a strong appetite for shares of Didi over the long-term is still up in the air, as some investors have been burned before by high profile IPOs of Chinese companies. Last year, Starbucks competitor Luckin Coffee plunged more than 80% after it admitted to fabricating $310 million in sales. The Chinese-based coffee chain eventually filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy.

Additionally, both the Trump and Biden administration have followed through with banning certain Chinese companies from US stock market exchanges.

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