China regulator orders Didi ride-hailing app removed from stores

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The Chinese Cyberspace Administration (CAC) has ordered that Didi Chuxing’s app be removed from app stores, stating that the ride-hailing business was illegally gathering customers’ personal data (via Reuters).

The agency said it had ordered the company to make changes to bring it into conformity with China’s data protection laws, but it didn’t say what the infractions were.

Didi was formed in China in 2012, and according to a recent regulatory filing, the company now has 377 million active customers in the country.

On June 30th, the firm went public, making it the largest Chinese IPO on a US stock exchange since Alibaba in 2014.

The CAC said on Friday that new user registrations for Didi’s service will be halted pending a “cybersecurity investigation.”

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A Didi spokesman responded to a request for comment by pointing to a Sunday post on its Weibo page (translated from Chinese via Google Translate) stating that its app would be withdrawn in accordance with the ruling, and that users who had downloaded the Didi app could continue to use it properly.

China’s regulators have been cracking down on internet businesses for a variety of infractions in recent weeks, according to The Wall Street Journal, with an emphasis on anti-competitive practices, inconsistent pricing, and how applications handle users’ data.

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