Beijing asks ride-sharing giant Didi to pull out of US (report)

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Beijing (AFP) – Chinese regulators have asked rideshare giant Didi to work out a plan to de-list the United States over data concerns, a report said on Friday, as Beijing continues its scrutiny of domestic tech giants.

Over the past year, several of the country’s biggest companies, including Alibaba, Tencent, and Meituan, have been embroiled in a regulatory crackdown that has severed the wings of large internet companies with massive influence over the daily lives of consumers.

The mammoth New York debut in June for Didi Chuxing was quickly overshadowed by a Chinese cyber watchdog investigation into cybersecurity, launched just days after enrollment.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that Chinese regulators now wanted Didi executives to take the company off the New York Stock Exchange over concerns over sensitive data leaks, citing people familiar with the matter.

The report added that privatization or a float of shares in Hong Kong are among the options.

China’s Cyberspace Administration, which oversees data security, has asked the company to work out the details subject to government approval, the sources said.

The move is yet another blow to Didi, who raised $ 4.4 billion on its New York IPO, making it the largest U.S. IPO of a Chinese company since Alibaba in 2014.

The ridesharing company has been hit particularly hard by the state’s crackdown on tech companies, with its service ordered from app stores in July and government agencies launching on-site inspections at its offices for fear of ” national security ”.

Founded in 2012 by Cheng Wei – a former executive at Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba – Didi has dominated the local ride-hailing market since winning a costly turf war against U.S. titan Uber in 2016.

The app claims to have over 15 million drivers and nearly 500 million users, and is often the fastest and easiest way to call a ride in crowded Chinese cities.

Bloomberg added on Friday that it was possible the delisting was part of a series of sanctions for Didi, after infuriating Chinese officials by continuing its IPO in the United States despite Beijing’s backlash.

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