By-Arun Shekhar Jawla
BBC channel has been informed by a close source that ‘Didi’, a Chinese ride-hailing giant, has halted its plan to launch its services in the UK and European market. This news has come after the rival company; Uber has also planned to roll out its services in Western Europe and major cities of the UK.
The Chinese company is in discussion with the group working on the projects and assigning new roles or potential back-ups. This expansion move has come to shock many people as Chinese firms are facing intense scrutiny on the matter of data privacy by Western nations including UK and others.
No official comment has been issued by the Didi. This story has come to light after the reporter of The Daily Telegraph got a statement from the company employee about their plan to expand to new markets, liaising with relevant stakeholders, when they introduce their services outside China. Didi has recently launched its services in a few countries in South Africa, Kazakhstan and Ecuador expanding its international trade.
Authorities of western countries are paying close attention to a decision made by various Chinese companies such as Didi, Alibaba, etc. Even, the telecoms giant Huawei has been scrutinized for its security practices and it was banned by the UK for its 5G infrastructure. The United States has been putting tough restrictions on several Chinese companies such as Huawei. During the Trump administration, several of Chinese app was targeted for allegations of links with the Chinese government and its data exchange policies.
President Biden has put some ease on this matter; still, Washington is keeping up the pressure on Chinese firms. One of the most controversial issues; Beijing is increasingly cracking down on data privacy and this puts Didi under extreme scrutiny. The company have been accused of it illegally collecting users’ data and even the internet regulator instructed online stores to remove this app.
Just 2 days ago, the company raised $4.4bn (£3.21bn) in its New York Stock Exchange after which its shares fell sharply. The Chinese government is planning to introduce new measures to protect data privacy. It’s new the Personal Information Protection Law aims to control data collection for technology firms and it will come into effect on 1st November 2021.