Concerns over privacy, data security and national security are mounting as China’s ubiquitous carpooling and ride-hailing app “Didi Chuxing” runs into a regulatory storm after its New York Stock Exchange debut last week.
As Chinese cybersecurity watchdogs move to put a brake on the vehicle-for-hire platform, unverified reports are swirling that Didi surrendered sensitive user data to the United States before its June 30 IPO.
Data ownership is again front and center in the latest episode of Beijing’s regulatory clampdown on China’s big tech firms. The state-backed, nationalistic tabloid Global Times stating explicitly that “no tech giants or any other businesses should be allowed to glean and amass data of Chinese people more than the government does” and that “no entities should be allowed to know the lives and privacy of Chinese people more than the government does.”
In a Sunday op-ed likely channeling Beijing’s stance, the paper claimed that Chinese watchdogs must ensure the Chinese version of Uber, whose user base hit 377 million in March, does not veer off course or run counter to public and national interests, especially when foreign investors had come onboard as Didi’s largest and second-largest shareholders.
“With its market dominance, Didi possesses the most comprehensive profiles about how Chinese move and travel in key cities and far-flung places across the country and its trove of mobility, destination, address and payment data must be stored and handled properly and kept beyond the snooping of foreign exploiters and the nation has the responsibility to supervise and step in,” the article said.
Read more at “Bumpy ride for China’s Didi ride-hailing app”