Didi, the Chinese Uber banned in China and listed on Wall Street

La app de plataforma china de transporte compartido DiDi Chuxing ha sido retirada de las tiendas de descargas porque recopilaba información personal violando las leyes y regulaciones de la República Popular China
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REUTERS/CARLO ALLEGRI  -   Didi, the Chinese Uber banned in China and listed on Wall Street

Everything was going well in China with its own Uber. The ridesharing app was growing and expanding beyond its borders to countries such as Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Argentina and Panama.

The problem came when Didi launched on Wall Street. After an IPO in which it raised more than 4.4 billion dollars, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) opened an investigation against the company and banned it from registering new users. It later ordered its app to be removed from Chinese digital shops. The company stressed that users who had previously downloaded and installed the app on their phones could continue to use it.

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REUTERS/FLORENCE LO - The Chinese and American flags are seen near the TikTok logo

In 2020 it was Donald Trump who was waging the security battle against TikTok and now it is the Asian giant itself that is clipping the wings of a multinational present in 4,000 cities in 15 countries and with 493 million active annual users and 15 million drivers. In 2016, Uber even acquired 12.8% of Didi.

Didi's relationship with the Chinese government is not very good. In 2018 it was forced to suspend one of its services after two of its drivers raped and murdered two female passengers. It has also received fines and warnings in various parts of the country for not having the necessary regional licences to operate.  And some media reports suggest that Beijing has also opened an investigation into alleged monopolistic practices.

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PHOTO/AP - New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street
Didi on Wall Street

It is attractive for companies to set foot on the New York Stock Exchange. The eyes of the world are fixed on their product and the impact is gigantic, investment increases and a certain level of transparency is achieved, taking into account the country of origin. But underneath this share price, two transatlantic national security issues, the United States and China, collide.

While Didi's shares fell by 8% on the stock market due to the setback it suffered from its own government, the debate on the data sovereignty of the great powers grew. Europe has successfully regulated this point and multinationals have had to adapt their applications to the European market. The United States is trying to find a scapegoat in Facebook and, at the same time, in everything that comes from China, considering it to be a cross-cutting enemy.

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PHOTO - A user orders an Uber through the app

Didi controls Big Data of great value. Profiles, routes, schedules, flows of people, vehicles... and the United States does not want China to have access to this data on its own citizens. But this is not just a gesture of solidarity because its intentions are to control this information from within the country itself.

The scrutiny to which Beijing has subjected Didi and two other ride-sharing companies, Yunmanman and Huochebang, belonging to the Full Truck Alliance group and known as the Didi of trucks because of their similar business model, is a gesture towards Biden's government. It is an image wash to continue with this capitalist policy outwards, but directed from the communist fist on the inside.