Ride-hailing giant Didi Global saw a significant drop in stocks after it announced moving away from the New York Stock Exchange Friday, Dec. 3.
The company’s stock dropped 22.17%, resulting in a market value loss of $8.4 billion. Reuters noted that Didi shares have dropped around 57% since their June 30 initial public offering price of $6.07 on Friday.
Baird market strategist Michael Antonelli said the drop reflects that investors are deterred from pouring their investment when the company moves to a strange market.
“If you are a money manager and don’t understand what the rules are, it’s easier to just sell and move your money where you better understand the rules of the game,” he said.
The dramatic decrease reflected the Thursday announcement that Didi was delisting from the New York Stock Exchange and aiming for a listing in Hong Kong. It said a shareholder vote will be organized later.
The company did not specify what prompted the changes. Yet, it exemplifies the decoupling conflict between the U.S. and China.
Listing in U.S. markets, companies are required to provide more details regarding audits and government oversight of their operations. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), however, expressed concerns about sensitive data leakages and pressure companies from U.S. capital markets.
Since its June debut in New York Stock Exchange, Didi has faced multiple challenges from Chinese regulators.
Reiterating national security and the public interest, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) forced Didi to remove 25 of its mobile apps from app stores. It was also barred from registering new users.
The Chinese authorities also launched a probe into Didi’s data practices. But as the Wall Street Journal reported, the investigation could not prove the company was compromising national data by listing in the U.S. and being transparent with audit papers.
At the same time, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is also threatening to delist firms if they fail to offer information about their operations.
Wang Qi, chief executive of fund manager MegaTrust Investment (HK), believed other Chinese companies would follow in Didi’s footsteps.
“Chinese ADRs face increasing regulatory challenges from both U.S. and Chinese authorities,” Qi said, according to Reuters. “For most companies, it will be like walking on eggshells trying to please both sides. Delisting will only make things simpler.”
According to Didi’s IPO prospectus, the company provided 25 million rides daily in China in the first quarter. SoftBank’s Vision Fund, with a 21.5% stake, and Uber Technologies Inc, with a 12.8% stake, are the company’s largest shareholders.