Beijing lifts restrictions on DiDi ridesharing service

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DiDi Chuxing’s difficulties may be coming to an end as Beijing lifts restrictions on the ridesharing service.

Beijing targeted DiDi after the company raised $4 billion from selling its shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). In the days following the listing, Beijing launched a data security probe into DiDi on the basis that it was “illegally collecting user data”.

Amid increased US-China tensions, Beijing has sought to clamp down on Chinese firms listing in the US. DiDi has around 500 million users and Beijing was said to be concerned that an NYSE listing means potentially sharing data with US regulators.

In a memo of an “expert meeting” shared among Didi’s investors, an executive for the firm said the company stores all its China data and that it’s “absolutely not possible” that it passed data to US authorities.

Chinese authorities forced local app stores to delist DiDi’s app. In July 2022, Beijing hit DiDi with a $1 billion fine—but did not lift restrictions.

In the months since the fine, DiDi appears to have done enough to appease Beijing into lifting restrictions.

“With the consent of the Cyber Security Review Office, new user registrations in the Didi Chuxing app will resume immediately,” DiDi wrote on Chinese microblogging service Weibo. 

“Over the past year or so, we have carefully cooperated with the cybersecurity review, taken the security issues found in the review seriously and carried out comprehensive rectification.”

Shortly after Beijing announced its probe into DiDi, the firm announced that it halted plans to launch its robotaxis in the UK and Europe. To keep favour with Beijing, it’s unlikely DiDi will resume its Western Europe expansion for the foreseeable future.

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