According to the sources, Didi, the Chinese ride-hailing behemoth, has suspended plans to expand in the United Kingdom and continental Europe, according to a source close to the business.
Uber’s competitor had planned to launch in Western Europe, including key British cities. Didi is consulting with the project team about reassigning new positions or eliminating potential redundancies.
The decision comes as Chinese companies face increased scrutiny from Western governments and Beijing tightens its grip on data protection.
Didi stated in a statement that she did not comment directly on the issue that was first published by The Daily Telegraph. “We continue to explore additional new markets, liaising with relevant stakeholders in each and being thoughtful about when to introduce our services.”
“As soon as we have any more news on additional new markets, we look forward to sharing,” the spokesperson further added.
Didi has been growing its worldwide operations and has recently started services in South Africa, Ecuador, and Kazakhstan, among other nations.
Didi responded to queries regarding the team’s future in the UK by saying: “We have established an international talent hub in the UK, recognizing the exceptional quality of people in the market. Beyond that, any personnel matters remain strictly confidential.”
Didi’s move comes at a time when Chinese firms are increasingly being scrutinized by governments in Western nations.
Huawei was barred from the UK’s 5G infrastructure last year, and the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre is investigating its security procedures.
Huawei is another Chinese company that has been subjected to severe limitations in the United States.
Firms like the immensely popular video-sharing app were targeted by the Trump administration due to accusations of ties to the Chinese government.
While President Biden has toned down some of his rhetoric, the US continues to put pressure on Chinese companies.
Didi has also come under fire in China, where the government is tightening down on data privacy.
The country’s internet authority ordered online shops to cease selling the app earlier this year, claiming it improperly collected users’ personal data.
The news comes only two days after the firm made its New York Stock Exchange debut, raising $4.4 billion (£3.21 billion). The announcement caused Didi’s stock to plummet. The Chinese government is also implementing greater data privacy protection measures.
On Friday, the National People’s Congress’s Standing Committee, the country’s top legislative body, passed comprehensive new privacy legislation. The Personal Information Protection Law, which goes into effect on November 1st, aims to restrict data collection by technology companies more strictly.