(Yicai Global) March 28 -- Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing is considering a USD6 billion investment from Softbank Group Corp. [TYO:9984] that could dilute the shareholding of existing investors, which include Apple Inc. [NASDAQ:AAPL] and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [NYSE:BABA].
The Beijing-based company needs to weigh the interests of its more than 100 investors, Bloomberg reported today, citing anonymous insiders. Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HKG:0700] and Apple are considering joining the investment pro-rata to avoid losing out on equity, the insiders added. It’s still unclear whether the investment will come direct from Softbank or the USD100 billion Softbank Vision Fund, which has almost completed financing.
Didi accumulated USD10 billion in cash and investments last year, and needs to decide whether to take the additional capital as it competes with Uber Technologies Inc. and Alphabet Inc. [NASDAQ:GOOG] in the research and development of self-driving technologies. China has tightened its ride-hailing policies which have limited the number of private cars and drivers able to use Didi’s platform. Uncertainty surrounding industry regulation could delay the firm’s initial public offering, insiders said.
Spokesmen for Didi, Tencent and Apple did not respond to requests for comment. Softbank spokesman Matthew Nicholson declined to comment.