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How rumors of Didi’s “IPO” got bigger, then burst

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China’s largest ride-hailing company, Didi Kuaidi, found itself in the midst of a media storm. Over the past few days, Chinese media have been chasing a rumor that Didi were planning an IPO.

On Sunday, a document appeared on, a Chinese tech news site. Stories concerning the IPO spread like wildfire.

The document claimed that Didi was raising funds from the public, and was planning a U.S. IPO in 2018. The document also claimed that Didi would raise USD 72 million, with each investment being worth at least USD one million, and that with a valuation of USD 87 billion after the IPO, investors could expect a rate of return of 200%.

The “leaked” document (Picture from TechWeb)

However, Didi dismissed all the rumours as false on Monday.

“The document was obviously a faked one, with quite a few factual mistakes. Didi did not entrust any organization or individual to raise funds from the public, and we will reserve the right to hold responsible those deceivers making up false information about Didi,” the company wrote in a statement.

In mid May, media including Reuters and Bloomberg reported on Didi’s planned IPO. Their sources were unidentified, and they added that Didi’s official spokesman had denied any plans for an IPO.

In general, Chinese media these days neglect fact-checking in pursuit of the latest scoop from the hottest tech company. It often happens that a small website would leak a rumor, and then a mass of other websites would feed and spread the rumor further.

Another rumor was that last week Didi would use Amap, replacing the Tencent Map currently in use. The rumor was strangled with Didi’s response, stating that Didi has been working closely with both Tencent Map and Amap, and that the cooperation would continue.

Correction: Didi Chuxing is the name of Didi Kuaidi’s app.

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