Shares of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing rocketed higher Wednesday in its first trading session after raising $4.4 billion in an initial public offering.
Near 1730 GMT, shares of Didi were up 14.3 percent at $16, well above the $14 IPO price and giving the company a valuation of around $77 billion.
Didi Chuxing -- which claims to have more than 15 million drivers and nearly 500 million users -- is often the easiest and quickest way to call a ride in crowded Chinese cities.
Founded in 2012 by Cheng Wei, a former executive at Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, the app has dominated the local ride-hailing market ever since it won a costly turf war against US titan Uber in 2016 and took over its local unit.
Its largest institutional shareholder is Japanese investment fund Softbank, which holds a 21.5 percent stake.
Previous filings showed the firm suffered a loss of $1.6 billion in 2020 as it was battered by strict Covid-19 pandemic measures and travel restrictions to tackle the virus, which first emerged in China in late 2019.
But it saw a net profit of $800 million in the first three months of this year, with the outbreak now largely under control in China, its key market.
The company trades under the "DIDI" ticker on the New York Stock Exchange.