BEIJING, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Didi Global’s Chinese ride-sharing app returned to some Android app stores on Tuesday, according to Reuters checks and a source with direct knowledge of the matter, indicating its emergence after around a year and a half of regulatory problems.

Didi has been waiting for approval to resume new user signups and downloads of its 25 banned apps in China as a key step to getting back on track since its regulatory woes began in mid-2021.

The transportation vehicle, launched in Beijing in 2012 and backed by prominent investors including Alibaba. (9988.HK)Tencent (0700.HK) and SoftBank Group (9984.T)it ran afoul of powerful regulator Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) when it went ahead with a US stock listing in 2021 against the regulator’s wishes, sources previously told Reuters.

Its 25 mobile apps were then ordered removed from app stores, new user registration suspended, and fined $1.2 billion for data security violations.

Didi said in a statement Monday that it had been given the green light by national regulators to resume new user registrations for its flagship transportation app from Monday.

The move comes as Chinese lawmakers seek to restore confidence in the private sector and are counting on the technology industry to help boost an economy ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reuters reported on Friday, citing sources, that Chinese authorities were prepared to allow Didi to resume new user signups and home app downloads as early as this week.

Reporting by Yingzhi Yang and Julie Zhu Editing by David Goodman and Mark Potter

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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