A PYMNTS Company

China Pulls Didi From App Store, Post Going Public

 |  July 4, 2021

Two days into Didi’s life as a publicly traded company on Wall Street, China’s internet regulator said new user registrations on the Chinese ride-hailing platform would be suspended while the authorities conducted what they called a “cybersecurity review” of the company.

According to the New York Times, the terse announcement, issued Friday evening in China, did not explain what had prompted the review nor what it would entail — only that its purpose was “to guard against national data security risks, protect national security and uphold the public interest.”

The surprise intervention by Beijing immediately called to mind last year’s failed initial public offering by Ant Group, the Chinese fintech giant, whose share sale in Shanghai and Hong Kong was halted at the 11th hour after regulators summoned company executives to discuss new supervision.

In an emailed statement, Didi said it would cooperate with the authorities. “We plan to conduct comprehensive examination of cybersecurity risks, and continuously improve on our cybersecurity systems and technology capacities,” the statement said.

Didi is China’s leading ride-hailing app, having purchased Uber’s China operations in a 2016 deal that ended a period of fierce competition between the two companies. Didi’s shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The company says its service had 377 million active users in China during the year that ended in March.

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.