Chinese regulators send teams to Didi for cybersecurity review

FILE PHOTO: Illustration picture of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi
FILE PHOTO: The app logo of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi is seen reflected on its navigation map displayed on a mobile phone in this illustration picture taken July 1, 2021. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration

July 16, 2021

BEIJING (Reuters) -The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said on Friday that officials from at least seven departments sent on-site teams to conduct a cybersecurity review of ride-hailing giant Didi Global Inc.

The regulators include the CAC, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of State Security, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Natural Resources, State Taxation Administration and State Administration for Market Regulation, according to the statement.

CAC did not offer more details in its statement, but the involvement of several government agencies shows the heavier regulatory pressure on the nine-year-old company.

China is in the process of revamping its policy towards privacy and data security. It is drafting a Personal Information Protection Law, which calls for tech platforms to impose stricter measures to ensure secure storage of user data.

In September, China is set to implement its Data Security Law, which requires companies that process “critical data” to conduct risk assessments and submit reports. It also calls on organisations that process data affecting China’s national security to submit to annual reviews.

CAC launched the data-related cybersecurity investigation into Didi just two days after it raised $4.4 billion from its New York initial public offering, citing the need to protect national security and the public interest. Regulators also ordered Didi to remove its apps in China which Didi said might hurt its revenue.

Didi, which currently has a market capitalisation of $60 billion, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on CAC’s new statement. It earlier said it stores all China user and road data in China.

(Reporting by Yingzhi Yang, Yilei Sun and Tony Munroe; Editing by Stephen Coates)