The decades-long, trillion-dollar love affair between China and Wall Street is coming to an end.
Didi Chuxing, a $39 billion company that is China’s answer to Uber, on Friday said that it would delist its shares from the New York Stock Exchange. Just six months ago Didi was a Wall Street darling, raising billions of dollars from American pension funds and international investors in a splashy New York initial public offering.
Those sorts of deals once fueled a three-decade relationship that helped reshape the global political and financial landscape. China generated heaps of money for Wall Street by hiring banks to manage deals like I.P.O.s. In return, Wall Street gave China access to the halls of global finance and political power, especially when it came to introductions in Washington.
Didi’s abrupt decision to leave brings home a stark truth for Wall Street: China doesn’t need it anymore. The world’s No. 2 economy has plenty of its own money and few problems attracting more from elsewhere. China’s friends on Wall Street have lost their sway in Washington at a time when mistrust of Beijing’s intentions is running high. And China’s leaders would rather keep tight control of its companies than open them up to investors on American markets.
Now Wall Street has become the latest area in which leaders on both sides are trying to weaken the extensive and complicated ties between the world’s two largest economies. And just as the alliance of China and Wall Street helped shape business in the past, the way the two sides disentangle those ties could reshape its future.
“It is mutual decoupling, but it is also a contest to set the rules by which international intercourse takes place,” said Lester Ross, a partner in the Beijing office of WilmerHale law firm.
Beijing has been asserting greater control over its private companies, particularly those like Didi, which has extensive data on hundreds of millions of the Chinese taxi hailers and ride sharers. It seeks a private sector more in line with the Communist Party’s growing focus on spreading wealth and meeting its policy goals — aims that Wall Street investors most likely can’t help with.
The American government, which sees China as the greatest economic, political and military rival, has been putting pressure of its own on Chinese ties. It has forced some state-controlled Chinese companies in delist their U.S. shares. On Thursday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission adopted rules that would …….