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Beijing lifts restrictions on rideshare giant DiDi Chuxing

After eighteen month exile, it's allowed to recruit new customers

Chinese ride-share provider DiDi Chuxing announced on Monday that after a year and a half of being banned from registering new riders, the Cybersecurity Review Office has allowed it to resume recruitment of customers.

"Over the past year, our company has seriously cooperated with the national network security review, taken seriously the security problems found in the review, and carried out comprehensive rectification," its representative wrote on the corporate Weibo account.

"With the consent of the Cybersecurity Review Office, new user registration of 'DiDi Chuxing' will be resumed from now on. In the future, the company will take measures to effectively ensure the security of platform facilities and the security of big data, and maintain national network security," it added.

Beijing removed the app from local app stores in July 2021 on grounds that it did not comply with data protection laws. The biz also received a whopping $1.2 billion fine related to data breaches.

The ban took place the same week as the Uber competitor's US stock market debut. DiDi Chuxing was among the many Chinese tech companies that were a target of a two-year long regulatory crackdown. Earlier this month, a top Chinese central bank official told state-sponsored media that the campaign seeking to rectify the financial business of 14 platform companies “has been basically completed.”

Other targets of the crackdown were internet giants like Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent.

In the same week that Beijing declared the crackdown over, Alibaba's financial arm, Ant Group, said founder Jack Ma would give up control of the offshoot as part of a "corporate governance optimization." The firm received approval last month to expand the capital base at its consumer credit unit to $2.6 billion from around $1.5 billion.

Speaking in a news conference last Friday, an official from the People's Bank of China echoed previous sentiments and said Ant Group, specifically, was one of 14 platform orgs that had "basically completed business rectification" under regulator supervision.

"Industry observers said that [Ma Jianyang]'s comments, along with a slew of supportive measures on the internet economy issued in recent days, have sent out a clear signal that internet platforms will 'embark on a new stage of regulated high-quality development' in 2023," reported state-sponsored media. ®

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