The original Journal report sent Didi’s stock soaring nearly 40% during premarket trading Thursday, though it pared gains after the company’s denial. The stock is still up more than 18% before the market open.
Didi listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange in June with a modest pop in share price. But days later, Chinese authorities announced a cybersecurity review of the business, sending the stock down. Chinese authorities had also opened an antitrust probe into Didi, Reuters reported.
China has recently tightened its grip on tech companies. Earlier this month, officials announced measures to increase regulation of cross-border data flows, adding scrutiny to companies wishing to list shares in a foreign country.
Last fall, Ant Group delayed its IPO in Shanghai and Hong Kong after Chinese regulators interviewed its top executives. It later received a $2.8 billion fine for allegedly abusing its market dominance.