The ride-sharing giant’s data-processing activities jeopardized national security, the cybersecurity watchdog charged.
China has fined ride-sharing giant Didi Global 8.026 billion yuan ($1.2 billion) after a year-long investigation into the company’s data collection practices, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced on Thursday. ).
According to the CAC statement posted on its official website, the regulator concluded that Didi had violated Chinese laws governing network security, data security, and the protection of personal information by illegally collecting information about CAC users. your transportation application for a period of seven years. as of June 2015. It was also concluded that the company’s data processing activities had jeopardized national security.
The CAC also fined two Didi executives, founder and CEO Cheng Wei and chairman Jean Liu, 1 million yuan each (about $150,000), having found them responsible for the violations.
In an online statement on his Weibo account, Didi said that he had accepted the CAC’s decision.
The investigation into Didi’s data collection practices was first announced last year, days after Didi’s initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. According to Reuters sources, despite demands from Chinese regulators to pause its US listing until the investigation was concluded, Didi went ahead with the float, drawing the ire of Beijing. Under regulatory pressure, the company was forced to delist from the New York Stock Exchange and make plans to list in Hong Kong. Didi’s shares, which soared after its US IPO, thus giving the company an $80bn valuation, suffered heavily from delisting, losing more than 80% of its value.
Due to the CAC investigation, Didi was also banned from adding new users to his app, which was later removed from app stores in China. The CAC announcement did not specify whether the fine meant the company could now return to Chinese app stores and sign up new users.
Didi’s fine is the largest for a Chinese technology company since e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and service platform Meituan were fined $2.75 billion and $527 million respectively last year by China’s antitrust regulator.
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