China Orders Didi Ride Hailing App to Be Removed From the App Store for Serious Privacy Violations

BY Sanuj Bhatia

Published 4 Jul 2021

The Chinese government, on Sunday, ordered smartphone manufacturers like Apple and Huawei to remove the Didi cab ride-hailing app from their App Stores. The move comes as China’s Cyberspace Administration has found some “serious privacy violations” in the app.

Apple-backed China’s Uber service Didi was listed publically on NYSE last Friday. Just two days after the company went public, Bloomberg has reported that the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has ordered Apple, along with others, to remove Didi from the App Store.

CAC made an announcement on Sunday, “citing serious violations” in regards to Didi’s “collection and usage of personal information.” The China government feels that the big tech companies like Tencent, Ali Baba, and Didi “scoop” information “from hundreds of millions of users.”

CAC regulators have tightened data collection rules for major tech firms in recent years.

“More broadly, Beijing has been curbing the growing influence of China’s largest internet corporations, widening an effort to tighten the ownership and handling of troves of information that online powerhouses from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to Tencent and Didi scoop up daily from hundreds of millions of users. The regulator on Sunday ordered Didi to rectify its problems following legal requirements and national standards, and take steps to protect the personal information of its users.”

Didi has since clarified that the company is already working to comply with the latest norms, and has halted new user registrations for the time being. For the current users, the Didi app remains functional. There’s no word on when the app will be available on the App Store again.

[Via Bloomberg]