China's Didi gets a flat after turbo-charged IPO

$80 billion.

That was the opening market valuation Wednesday for Chinese ride-hailing app Didi as the stock made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange.

The stock opened at $16.65 a share, a near 19 percent jump from the $14 IPO price.

This was the biggest U.S. IPO for a Chinese company since Alibaba went public seven years ago.

Kathleen Smith follows the IPO market for Renaissance Capital.

"It's China's largest ride-hailing company. And so it's big. It's bigger than Uber. It's one of the dominant players. And it looks like the valuation that was placed on the company was reasonable. I think investors are a little worried about regulatory crackdowns that China is putting on its companies and on this company in particular regarding anti-competitive practices and how it compensates its drivers."

Didi, the Chinese version of Uber, was such a formidable rival to Uber in China, that Uber eventually closed up shop, and sold the business to Didi back in 2016, in exchange for 12.8 percent stake .

But ride-hailing is a tough business to make money in the U.S. and China. Didi did turn a profit in the first quarter but it has lost money for the past two years.

It is planning to use the cash raised from the IPO to expand beyond China and beef up other services including food delivery.

Enthusiasm for Didi waned into the close, with the stock ending its debut day with barely a gain.

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