China’s Uber, the latest tech giant brought down by the Communist Party


Jaime Santirso




The antitrust campaign With which the Chinese government intends to limit the power of its technological giants, it has claimed a new victim. This is Didi Chuxing, a mobility platform similar to Uber without rival in the Asian giant: it has more than 377 million users, 13 million drivers and 41 million daily operations.

The phone app is no longer available on official download portals and is not accessible to new users after the China Cyberspace Administration (CAC) accused it on Sunday of “breaking laws in the collection and use of personal information.” The regulatory body has assured through a brief statement that it acted “based on complaints, after verifying them through investigations” to “protect the safety (…) of users”, although it has not offered further details on the violations committed by Didi.

It has an enormous amount of data, from frequent addresses and routes of its users to recordings of the trips, which began in 2018 as a security measure after the murder of several passengers. The technology company also planned to enhance this facet through your leap into the world of financial services, as revealed by his investment in the Bank of Hangzhou Consumer Finance last March.

Didi has responded, as appropriate, lowering his ears and issuing a public exercise of self-criticism, in line with the Marxist tradition. “We sincerely thank the authorities for guiding Didi to investigate our risks, we will rectify and reform seriously,” the company has proclaimed through an official statement. On the other hand, registered users will be able to continue using their services normally, he clarified.

This decision comes just two days after the CAC announced the opening of an investigation against Didi and, likewise, the same week of its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Its shares, which began trading last Wednesday, obtained a total valuation of $ 4.4 billion (€ 3.7 billion), the second highest initial public offering figure for a Chinese company in the United States, only surpassed by $ 21.8 billion. (18.3 billion euros) harvested by Alibaba in 2014.

“This is another sign that, at the very least, Beijing will not allow plans to financing of technology companies prevail in the way of their regulation“Said Xiaomeng Lu, head of geotechnology at the Eurasia consultancy, in a report. “These movements can also be seen as a sign of Beijing’s discomfort with overseas prices,” he added.

Already in November of last year the authorities frozen just 48 hours after the Ant Group IPO, destined to break records as the greatest in history. Shortly after, this antitrust campaign began, whose successive rounds of sanctions have drawn blood in the accounts of giants such as Alibaba and Meituan. Among those affected is also Jack Ma, the famous tycoon, whose criticism of regulators has made him lose favor with the Communist Party, the only entity that knows no limits.

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