Chinese regulators are preparing to end a ban on bringing on new users to Didi, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
It’s the culmination of an investigation into the company’s cybersecurity practices, which hammered Didi’s stock price soon after it went public in the United States. Chinese regulators are expected to release the results of the investigation around the same time as the lift of the ban. That could happen as soon as this week, according to the Journal. Authorities are also lifting new-user limits on Full Truck Alliance and Kanzhun.
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Didi’s public debut was one of the most-anticipated of last year, as the company is more or less the Uber of China. Didi even bought out Uber’s operations in China and had nearly 500 million annual active users at the time it filed to go public in the U.S. The company had a valuation of around $73 billion at the time of its IPO, according to Crunchbase data.
Chinese regulators began investigating the company’s cybersecurity operations soon after its $4 billion IPO, and Didi was essentially forced out of the app store. Chinese regulators barred the company from adding new users, which in turn made Wall Street sour on the company and its growth prospects.
Founded in 2012 and based in Beijing, Didi reportedly initiated plans to start delisting from the New York Stock Exchange and re-list in Hong Kong. It’s unclear where those plans stand, and how lifting the ban on new users and the company’s return to app stores could affect them.
Didi was backed by investors including SoftBank, Booking Holdings and Toyota Motor before its New York Stock Exchange debut last year. Didi’s stock price opened at $3.06 on Monday morning, down more than 40% from the beginning of the year.
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Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
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