China has ordered app-store operators to remove the app of Didi from their stores, the latest as tension escalates between the nation’s largest ride-hailing giant and local regulators. The app has disappeared from several stores including Apple’s App Store in China, TechCrunch can confirm.
The nation’s cyberspace administration, which unveiled the order on Sunday, said Didi was illegally collecting users’ personal data.
The ride-hailing giant, which counts Apple, SoftBank, and Tencent and Uber among its investors and filed for an IPO late last month, has been ordered to make changes to comply with Chinese data protection rules.
The move comes after the Chinese internet watchdog announced a probe into Didi over “national security” concerns earlier this week. Didi raised at least $4 billion this week after the New York Stock Exchange debut in one of the largest U.S. IPOs.
In a statement, Didi said it had removed its app from various app stores and begun the “corrections.” It also said it had halted new user registrations on Saturday. For existing users, the Didi app remains operational.
It’s very rare for an app of this scale to be pulled from the app stores. For the 12 months ended March, Didi served 493 million annual active users and saw 41 million transactions on a daily basis, it revealed recently.
The app had 156 million monthly users in Q1, well above Uber’s 98 million in the period.China’s official data showed the country had 365 million ride-hailing users as of December, which suggests Didi commands a substantial market share.