Chinese ride-hailer Didi went public on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange in a much anticipated US IPO, raising $4.4 billion. 

Why it matters: Didi is the biggest Chinese IPO in the US since Alibaba’s $25 billion listing in 2014.

Details: The company priced its IPO at $14, the top of the expected range. It opened at $16.65 per share on Wednesday, and closed at $14.14, a modest 1% up from the initial offering price. 

  • Two days before Didi’s debut, CNBC’s Jim Cramer recommended the stock on his show “Mad Money.” “If you want to speculate on a Chinese IPO, you’ve got my blessing to bet on Didi. I would try to get as many shares as you can,” Cramer said.
  • David Trainer, founder of New Constructs, a US-based investment research company wrote that Didi is overvalued and worth “no more than $37 billion,” a little over half of its current valuation in a Wednesday analysis. He worries that Chinese regulatory risks and an “unprofitable” business model will hurt the company’s performance, despite Didi having a 90% market dominance in China. 
  • Didi reported losses of $1.6 billion on $21.6 billion in revenue in 2020. The company turned a profit of $800 million on $6.4 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2021, according to its IPO filing

Context: Didi performed better than its US counterparts on the first trading day. Uber fell below its initial offering price in its 2019 debut. 

  • In May 2019, Uber opened below its initial offering price of $45 and dropped more than 7% on the first trading day. 
  • Like many other leading tech companies in China, Didi faces increased regulatory scrutiny. Reuters reported in June that Didi is facing antitrust investigations from the country’s top market watchdog on whether the company had used unfair practices to squeeze out smaller competitors. 

READ MORE: The Chinese gaming startup outperforming Tencent overseas

With contributions from Jill Shen.

Qin is the managing editor at TechNode. Previously, she was a reporter at the South China Morning Post's Inkstone. Before that, she worked in the United States for five years. She was a senior video producer...