China Expands Regulatory Crackdown On Didi As Investors Sue

China’s cyberspace administration has ordered mobile app stores in the country to remove an additional 25 apps operated by Didi Global, in an expansion of regulatory action against the company.

The apps in question use illegally collected data and include a delivery service app, an app for drivers, a carpooling app, a camera app and one offering finance services, the Cyberspace Administration of China said in a statement.

Earlier this week the administration ordered mobile stores to remove Didi’s main app in China.

In the move, announced on Friday, the regulator said it had also ordered websites and platforms to cease providing access to Didi-linked services in China.

Regulatory action

China’s series of regulatory actions began days after Didi began publicly trading on the New York Stock Exchange on 30 June.

The latest move is an escalation from previous orders as it is likely to affect existing users that access Didi’s services through platforms other than mobile apps.

Users who had already downloaded apps appear unaffected for the time being.

The Cyberspace Administration ordered stores to remove Didi’s main app on Sunday. The order came two days after the regulator began a cybersecurity review of Didi and banned the company from accepting new users in China.

Did raised $4.4 billion (£3.2bn) in its flotation, but the regulatory actions sent its shares tumbling to below the IPO price.

Share slump

The company lost about $21.5bn in market value over the course of three sessions over investor fears of fallout from China’s increased scrutiny of large domestic technology companies and firms raising money by holding overseas listings, as Didi and others have done.

Didi’s US market value has fallen by more than 20 percent since China ordered the company’s main app to be removed from stores.

Weeks before the NYSE offering Chinese regulators had suggested the company delay its IPO, reports said.

Last Tuesday US shareholders filed two lawsuits against Didi over the share slump.

The lawsuits, filed in federal court in New York and Los Angeles, say Didi failed to disclose it was in ongoing talks with Chinese authorities about compliance with cybersecurity laws and regulations.

The complaints named Didi chief executive Will Wei Cheng and other executives and directors, as well as lead underwriters Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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