China Ride-Hailing Co. Didi Files for U.S. IPO

China-based ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing last week filed for an initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In its filing, Didi reported revenue of $21.6 billion in 2020, down 8.4 percent year over year.

Founded in 2012, Didi operates in nearly 4,000 cities, counties and towns across 15 countries, according to its SEC filing. Didi counts over 493 million active users, a significant majority in China, and 41 million average daily transactions, as of March 31, 2021. 

Didi is banking on shared mobility, including ride-hailing and car-sharing, to accelerate in the U.S. The ride-hail provider cited the commercialization of autonomous driving and increased adoption of electric vehicles to play key roles. Didi expects to capitalize on its electric vehicles for a cost and experience advantage. 

“Due to their lower operating and fuel costs, electric vehicles enable higher earnings for drivers, and lower costs for riders,” Didi noted in the filing. “By designing these vehicles ourselves, we can also ensure that the seats are comfy, the climate control a breeze, and the quality better with better durability and lower need for maintenance.” 

In addition, Didi has invested in autonomous driving vehicles since 2016.

Didi is known for pushing Uber out of China. In 2016, after a bitter price war, Uber sold its Chinese subsidiaryto Didi, taking a stake in the company as part of the deal. Uber currently is the second-largest equity stakeholder of Didi at 12.8 percent. 

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