Beijing City Government Denies Media Report of Didi Takeover

(Bloomberg) — The Beijing municipal government denied a report it had proposed an investment in Didi Global Inc. that could put the Chinese ride-sharing giant under state control and keep its assets within the Chinese capital.  

“After looking into the matter with related parties, the matter of ‘Beijing state-backed firms investing in Didi’ and ‘Shouqi Group teaming up with other state-backed firms to invest in Didi’ is untrue,” the municipal government’s press office said in a statement e-mailed to Bloomberg News, without further elaboration. A representative from Didi told Bloomberg on Saturday that the firm was working with regulators on a cybersecurity review and reports about a Beijing-led investment are untrue.

Bloomberg News reported last week the municipal government had proposed that Shouqi Group — part of the influential Beijing Tourism Group — and other firm based in the capital would acquire a stake in Didi. One scenario under consideration would be for the consortium to take a so-called “golden share” in the company with veto power and a board seat. The proposal would need approval from China’s central government, Bloomberg reported.

The takeover proposal comes alongside a swath of penalties President Xi Jinping’s administration is considering for the country’s ride-hailing leader after it went public in New York over the objections of the Cyberspace Administration of China. The internet industry overseer saw that decision as a challenge to the central government’s authority and officials from multiple government agencies have since launched a probe into its operation. 

Shares of Didi have declined 36% this year.

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