China regulator orders Didi ride-hailing app removed from stores

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has ordered app stores to remove Didi Chuxing’s app, claiming the ride-hailing company had been illegally collecting users’ personal data (via Reuters). The regulator said it had ordered the company to make updates to put it in compliance with China’s data protection rules, but didn’t elaborate on what the violations may have involved.

Didi was founded in China in 2012, and a recent regulatory filing shows it has 377 million active users in China alone. The company just went public on June 30th, the biggest IPO of a Chinese company on a US stock exchanges since Alibaba in 2014. On Friday, the CAC announced new user registrations for Didi’s service were being suspended pending a “cybersecurity review.”

In response to a request for comment, a Didi spokesperson pointed to a Sunday post on its Weibo page (translated from Chinese via Google Translate) that said its app would be removed in accordance with the order, and that users who have downloaded the Didi app could continued to use it normally.

Over the past several weeks, China’s regulators have been cracking down on tech companies for a range of violations, The Wall Street Journal reported, with a focus on anti-competitive practices, inconsistent pricing, and the ways apps handle users’ data.

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