In the New China, Didi’s Data Becomes a Problem

Beijing is clamping down on technology giants such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Ant Group Co. over monopolistic practices and other issues. China was also concerned that Didi and other Chinese companies listing in the U.S. would be required to hand over to U.S. regulators audit documents that could contain sensitive information, the Journal has reported.

Didi’s case is unfolding as China tightens its grip on the data collected by its powerful internet companies. The country passed a new Data Security Law in June that governs data-processing activities within the country, defines core state and important data, and limits such data flows out of China. Beijing has proposed a Personal Information Protection Law aimed at protecting consumers from companies that might exploit their data without their authorization. Draft rules on managing automotive data were released in May. Priorities for protection include information about the flow of people and traffic in military zones, areas related to the Communist Party and certain government sites, as well as precise mapping data.

Driving the moves is the belief that data accumulated in the private sector should be considered a national asset.