Didi Chuxing isn't currently listed on any publicly traded stock exchanges, but that could change sometime in 2017, according to Bloomberg, or possibly in 2018, according to Reuters. Both news sources have said that when Didi does go public, it will be on a U.S. stock exchange.
Didi is valued at $28 billion now and just received a $1 billion investment from Apple in May, which is unsurprisingly adding to investor interest in an initial public offering for Didi.
Didi is the premier ride-hailing company in China, available in more than 400 cities across the country. The company is major competitor to UberChina, and currently serves 11 million rides to its users every day. Didi also offers taxi-sharing, car-sharing, bus passes, and new-car test-drive services.
But it's biggest moneymaker is its private ride-hailing service. Didi brought in about $175 million from the segment in the first five months of 2015, according to the Financial Times. The company is not profitable yet, though its president, Jean Liu, says it's close.
Didi Chuxing's IPO plans
In May, Bloomberg said that Didi is looking for a 2017 IPO, but not until the company sees how well it's able to fend off Uber in China. Uber is planning to spend $1 billion in the country to take on Didi. If Didi went public soon, it would be the largest U.S. IPO by a Chinese company since Alibaba two years ago.
The same day, Reuters wrote that its sources said Didi will wait until 2018 to go public. Reuters noted that Didi may have ruled out an IPO in China because the regulatory process for going public is very slow, and 800 companies are already waiting in line.
But a spokesman for Didi Chuxing told CNBC after the two reports came out, "We currently have no IPO plan, so there's no point of talking about location or schedule." The company's statement isn't all that surprising. Private companies don't exactly share lots information about their IPO timelines so far in advance.
Why you may be able to buy Didi Chuxing stock soon
Didi has received about $8.5 billion in total funding so far, with the help of Chinese companies Alibaba, Tencent Holdings, and China Life Insurance, and, of course, Apple.
At some point the company's investors will be looking to make a return on their large investments, making an IPO the obvious path. Apple likely has some other reasons for investing in Didi (like tapping into the massive shared mobility market), but other investors may be ready to get a return on their investment sooner.
An analyst with RHB Research Institute in Hong Kong, Li Yujie, told Bloomberg that Didi's explosive growth in both market share and users might not last forever, and going public would ensure investors can cash in on the growth now.
Of course, no one knows for sure when Didi Chuxing will decide to go public. But with the company's meteoric growth, huge investments awaiting returns, and intensifying IPO rumors, it appears investors may not have to wait too much longer.
Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2018 $90 calls on Apple and short January 2018 $95 calls on Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.