China fines Didi $1.2 bln over data breaches

STORY: China has fined ride hailing app Didi Global just over 8 billion yuan, or almost $1.2 billion.

Regulators say the firm illegally collected user data, and carried out data processing that seriously affected national security.

In an unusual move, the company’s chief executive and president were also fined.

Didi said Thursday (July 21) that it accepted the penalty, and would rectify its practices.

The app fell foul of watchdogs last year, when it went ahead with a New York share sale despite being told to pause.

Regulators almost immediately launched a probe.

They told Didi to stop registering new customers, and made app stores remove its products.

On Thursday there was no confirmation whether those restrictions would now be lifted.

But they have hit Didi badly, allowing rivals to chip away at its dominance in ride hailing.

The firm has said it will delist its shares in New York, and Reuters sources say its apps have been updated to ensure compliance.

Now the firm, and investors, hope it all marks an end to a probe that has cast a shadow over Didi, and China’s whole tech sector.

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