China’s biggest ride-hailing company drops by 20 percent as regulators tussle over new companies

China’s largest ride-hailing company had the biggest stock market drop in years Friday. Didi Chuxing dropped by 20 percent.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission said it is taking the company off the stock exchange “for failing to demonstrate its minimum level of market fairness and equity.”

Didi Chuxing does not operate in the United States but is worth $34 billion. The company was bought by rival Uber in 2016 for $35 billion.

“We delivered the strong financial results and financial strength they’ve always expected from Didi Chuxing,” said Uber chief financial officer Gaurav Singhania. “While Uber is about to start a much-needed strategic reset, we will continue to act as a great partner to Didi.”

The company’s representatives say it does not plan to leave the U.S. market.

Didi has more than 9 million drivers, 80 million monthly active users and 550 million registered vehicles in 300 cities. It ranks as China’s largest ride-hailing service provider.

“Didi is maintaining operations in our 39 domestic cities, including those with new regulations, and focusing on the new services we’ve launched in cooperation with other companies,” the company said in a statement Friday.

The crash came after a report earlier this week that the country’s regulators were drafting a plan to limit the growth of new-technology firms. Shares of Xiaomi, Tencent, and ByteDance, were also sold off by more than 15 percent.

At least 60 new-technology firms have been pulled off the Shanghai exchange over the past two years, according to the Financial Times.

Wasi, according to the FT, previously had had its shares remain on the Shenzhen exchange, which has stricter rules on internet firms.

The Chinese government has faced a backlash against its plan to push financial technology companies into the financial sector, with reports saying the industry’s leaders had turned against government officials.

“The challenge is we’re not going to be any different from most non-government controlled companies and so we have to know this to operate in this environment,” Dan Cao, chief operating officer at Baidu, told the Financial Times.

China’s Securities Regulatory Commission denied this week’s reports.

The AP contributed to this report.

Click for more from The Wall Street Journal.

Leave a Comment