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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Didi Faces a Cybersecurity Probe From Officials in China

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Didi headquarters in Beijing earlier this year.



Photo:

Yan Cong/Bloomberg News

SINGAPORE—China sent state security and police officials to

Didi Global Inc.’s

DIDI -2.06%

ride-hailing business on Friday as a part of a cybersecurity investigation, the country’s internet regulator said, escalating a regulatory saga that has gripped China’s tech industry.

Regulators from government units including the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of State Security, the Cyberspace Administration of China and the Transport Ministry will be stationed at Didi starting Friday for the investigation, the cyberspace administration said in an online statement.

The Ministry of Public Security is in charge of China’s domestic security, while the Ministry of State Security oversees the country’s civilian arm for intelligence gathering and counterespionage. Didi couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

The on-site probe comes after China’s internet regulator earlier this month ordered Didi to undergo a cybersecurity review over national security concerns, just days after the company started trading publicly in the U.S. The Cyberspace Administration of China also said Didi illegally collected personal data and ordered more than two dozen of its apps removed from app stores.

Didi, the most popular ride-hailing app in China with 377 million annual active users, amasses a large trove of consumer and street mapping data as part of its operations, industry analysts and lawyers say. This has put the company’s data collection and handling practices on the radar of regulators, as such data is considered sensitive by Chinese authorities, they said.

Write to Liza Lin at Liza.Lin@wsj.com

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