EXCLUSIVE Didi prepares to relaunch applications in China, anticipates the near end of the data -source survey
- China launched cybersecurity investigation in July
- Didi apps removed from Chinese app stores since July
- US-listed Didi shares up 5% before market opens
HONG KONG / BEIJING, Nov. 11 (Reuters) – Didi Global (DIDI.N) is set to relaunch its ridesharing and other applications in China by the end of the year in anticipation of the closing of the Beijing’s cybersecurity investigation into the company by then, said three people directly involved in the revival.
The people, who declined to be identified because the information was private, said they expected China’s cyberspace regulator to finalize sanctions against the company in December.
The company has set aside 10 billion yuan ($ 1.6 billion) for a possible fine, one of the sources said.
In July, the powerful Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) ordered app stores to remove 25 mobile apps operated by Didi – just days after the New York-listed rideshare giant. He also asked the company to stop registering new users, citing national security and public interest.
Asked about his preparations to revive the apps and the amount foreseen for a possible fine, Didi said the information obtained by Reuters was “pure hearsay without any basis in fact” and that he was actively and fully cooperating with the review. cybersecurity. He did not develop further.
The ACC did not respond to a request for comment.
Didi shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange climbed more than 5% in pre-market Thursday following the Reuters report.
Didi, which has around 377 million annual active users in China, offers 25 million rides per day to users in the country who log into its app with a phone number and password. Its applications also offer other products such as delivery and financial services.
It clashed with the CAC when it continued its listing in New York on June 30, even though the regulator had urged the company to put it on hold while a cybersecurity review of its data practices was being conducted. sources told Reuters.
Shortly thereafter, the CAC launched an investigation into Didi for his collection and use of personal data. He said data was illegally collected and the apps involved, including for his camera, as well as delivery and financial services.
NEW DATA LAW
Didi responded at the time by saying that he had stopped registering new users and would make changes to comply with national security and personal data protection rules, and protect user rights.
Didi has since made changes to the apps to ensure they comply with China’s personal information protection law which went into effect on November 1, the three people with knowledge of the matter said, adding that all staff was to undergo training on the new law.
The changes include an updated, lengthy customer-to-sign user agreement that clearly defines what data will be collected and how it will be used, one of the sources said.
The company is also working on new strategies to recruit drivers for the relaunch, as many have moved to competing services due to the uncertainty surrounding the business due to the investigation, the source added.
Its shares have halved since its New York debut to leave its valuation at $ 43 billion. The probe came amid a slew of regulatory moves by Beijing that upended standards for a range of industries, from technology to real estate to private tutoring.
In particular, China has called on its tech giants to provide more secure storage of user data amid public complaints of mismanagement and abuse that have resulted in privacy breaches.
The new law on the protection of personal information states that the processing of information must have a clear and reasonable purpose, defines the conditions under which companies can collect personal data and offers guidelines to ensure the protection of data when it is transferred. outside the country.
($ 1 = 6.3980 Chinese yuan)
Report by Julie Zhu in Hong Kong and Yilei Sun in Beijing; Additional reports by Yingzhi Yang; Editing by David Clarke and Edwina Gibbs
Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.