Chinese ride hailing company Didi’s stock dropped 44 per cent on Friday, the most in a single day since the Chinese ride-hailing business went public in the United States in June.
The stock is currently trading at 87 per cent of its IPO price, putting its two largest owners, SoftBank and Uber, at risk of significant losses.
The stock was already in free fall due to the Chinese government’s crackdown on local enterprises listed in the United States. Didi said in December that it will leave the New York Stock Exchange and list in Hong Kong instead. Bloomberg reported on Friday that Didi has failed to meet data-security criteria in order to proceed with a Hong Kong stock offering.
Didi is owned by Softbank, which controls around 20 pr cent of the company. The Japanese conglomerate’s share is now valued at $1.8 billion, down from almost $14 billion during the IPO. The value of Uber’s roughly 1 per cent shareholding has dropped from over $8 billion in June to just over $1 billion today.
After selling its China operation to Didi, Uber bought the interest in 2016. In its most recent annual report, Uber stated that it recorded an unrealized $3 billion loss on its Didi investment in 2021.
The chasm is widening, and it represents a bigger headwind for the tech industry, which is under pressure on the stock market.
Oracle announced earlier this week that its investments in Oxford Nanopore and Ampere Computing lowered profit by around 5 cents a share in the fiscal third quarter. Rivian, an electric car company with Amazon as a major investor, plummeted 8 percent on Friday following a poor outlook, bringing its year-to-date loss to 63 percent.
Didi was one of the 83 firms supported by SoftBank through its inaugural Vision Fund. CNBC reported last year that SoftBank was selling a portion of its Uber stake to help offset Didi’s losses.
“Since we invested in Didi, we have seen a huge loss of value,” Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s CEO, said in a February call to discuss results for the nine months ended Dec. 31.
At the closing, SoftBank shares were down 6.6 per cent, while Uber was up 1.2 per cent.
Didi wasn’t the first Chinese IT stock to fall on Friday, but it was the most significant. Websites that sell products online Alibaba Group, JD.com, and electric vehicle producer Nio all slumped as concerns about businesses having multiple listings in the United States and Hong Kong resurfaced.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)