Another day has arrived, and more reports about Beijing's retribution against Didi Chuxing, the ride-hailing service whose shares are poised to move even lower on Monday, as western media outlets recycle a report from last week about China shutting down 25 other Didi-owned apps for "the problem" of collecting personal information in violation of Chinese data security laws.
A similar headline hit late last week, but that was before Beijing on Saturday introduced a new law that would require all Chinese firms headed for an IPO to undergo a cybersecurity review. But this time around, Didi itself warned of a "negative impact" after complying with the CCP's order to remove the apps.
The latest moves against Didi mark "an escalation in a broader campaign to curb the growing power of internet titans" according to Bloomberg.
China’s cyberspace regulator on Friday banned downloads of the services for “serious illegal collection and use of personal information.” They included the enterprise version of its core service, as well as apps covering finance and delivery.
While the app has been removed from Chinese app stores, it still works, and millions of Chinese users have continued to use the service. Didi also operates in more than a dozen markets outside China.
It's also worth remembering that all this is happening as the Biden Administration is threatening to force new accounting rules that would effectively require all Chinese firms listed in the US to de-list (something that Beijing has slammed as discrimination).
Didi hasn't been the sole focus of the latest Chinese crackdown. In other related news regurgitated from last week, WSJ reported more details about ByteDance and its decision to scrap its plans to list in the US.
Furthermore, Bloomberg reports that Tencent Music Entertainment Group has been ordered to surrender its "exclusive rights" to music labels, right which the company recently acquired. Tencent will also be hit with a 500,000 yuan fine. These penalties are for Tencent's misreporting of its acquisition of two apps is the result of a probe into Tencent Music by the State Administration of Market Regulation. Over the weekend, it was reported that Beijing had blocked Tencent's attempt to merge two of China's biggest video-game streaming sites, Huya and DouYu.
With Didi wrapped up in the data security investigation (which could take up to six weeks to conclude) its rivals are seeing an opportunity to try and chip away at its 90% market share. Meituan, the food-delivery giant, has re-launched its ride-hailing app just as Didi's app was being removed from Chinese app-store platforms, per SCMP.