Didi Said to Prepare for Relaunch of Apps in China, Anticipates Data Probe Will End Soon

Didi is preparing to relaunch its ride-hailing and other apps in China by the end of the year, in the hope that Beijing’s cybersecurity investigation into the company will be completed by then, three people directly involved in the relaunch said. included.

People who declined to be identified as the information was private, said they expected China’s cyberspace regulators to finalize any penalties on the company in December.

A source said the company has set aside CNY 10 billion (about Rs 11,634 crore) for possible fines.

In July, the mighty Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) ordered the App Store to remove 25 mobile apps operated by Elder sister — just days after the ride-hailing giant listed in New York. It also asked the company to stop registration of new users citing national security and public interest.

When asked about preparations to relaunch the apps and the amount set aside for possible fines, Didi said the information obtained by Reuters was “in fact pure rumours without any basis” and that it was in line with the cybersecurity review. actively and fully cooperating. It did not elaborate further.

The CAC did not respond to a request for comment.

Shares of Didi, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, climbed more than 5 percent in premarket trading on Thursday following a Reuters report.

Didi, which has about 377 million annual active users in China, offers 25 million rides a day in the country to users who sign in to its app with a phone number and password. Its apps also offer other products such as delivery and financial services.

Sources told Reuters that it shied away from CAC when it went ahead with its New York listing on June 30, even though the regulator had urged the company to withhold it while cybersecurity was reviewed.

Soon after, the CAC launched an investigation into the collection and use of Didi’s personal data. It said the data was illegally collected from and related apps including its camera devices, as well as distribution and financial services.

new data law

Didi responded at the time by saying that it had stopped registering new users and would make changes to comply with regulations on national security and personal data protection, and protect users’ rights.

Didi has since been tweaking the apps to ensure they comply with China personal information security The law, which went into effect on November 1, said three people with knowledge of the matter, all employees had to complete training about the new law.

One of the sources said the changes include an updated and lengthy user agreement for customers that clearly defines what data will be collected and how it will be used.

The source said the company is also working on new strategies to recruit drivers for the re-launch, as the uncertainty surrounding the business due to the investigation has led to several rival services moving in.

Its shares have halved since its New York debut and its valuation is $43 billion (about Rs 3,19,951 crore). The scrutiny comes amid a number of regulatory moves by Beijing that have created benchmarks for a range of sectors from technology to property to private learning.

Notably, China has directed its technology giants to provide more secure storage of user data amid public complaints about mismanagement and misuse, resulting in privacy violations.

The new personal information protection law states that the handling of information must have a clear and reasonable purpose, sets the conditions under which companies may collect personal data and provides guidelines to ensure that the data is stored within the country. To be kept safe when transferred outside.

© Thomson Reuters 2021