Didi Ditches European Mobility Expansion Plans

Under fire ride-hailing company Didi has abandoned its expansionist plans to launch into the European market, reports the BBC.

According to an insider, the broadcaster says the Uber rival had been planning to roll out services in Western Europe and is now in consultations with the team working on the project on reallocating resources and considering potential redundancies. Its roll-back on plans comes amid Chinese firms facing intense scrutiny by the US and other nations and Beijing’s Communist Party crack down on possible breaches of data privacy.

Didi said in a statement: “We continue to explore additional new markets, liaising with relevant stakeholders in each and being thoughtful about when to introduce our services.” The company has already expanded its international operations launching in several countries including South Africa, Ecuador and Kazakhstan.

Responding to questions about the future of its team in the UK, a spokesperson for Didi told the BBC: “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 has come under scrutiny in China as the government becomes increasingly sensitive to what it sees as breaches of cracking data privacy. The regulator ordered online stores to stop offering its app earlier this year, claiming it illegally collected users’ personal data.

Now the government is introducing wide sweeping measures to protect data privacy with the National People’s Congress passing the Personal Information Protection Law, aiming to strictly control data collection by technology firms, that will come into force from November.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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