During a press conference held on the morning of August 19, officials including Niu Yibing, the deputy director and spokesperson of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), answered questions from reporters. One response pertained to a high profile investigation by authorities into Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi.
A Bloomberg reporter asked: “Is the security review of Didi and related actions not over yet? Does the decision to impose a fine of 8.026 billion yuan [$1.19 billion] on Didi mean that the review has ended? If the review is over, does it mean that Didi can start receiving new users and continue to implement the original business expansion plan?”
Sun Weimin, the director of the Network Security Coordination Bureau of the CAC, replied, “In July last year, in order to prevent national data security risks, safeguard national security and protect public interests, according to the National Security Law and the Cybersecurity Law of the People’s Republic of China, the government office conducted a network security review on Didi.”
The official added, “Next, the government office will guide and urge Didi to do a good job in corresponding rectification and eliminate potential safety risks. It will also intensify law enforcement in the fields of network security, data security and personal information protection, deal with related illegal acts according to law, and earnestly safeguard national network security, data security and social public interests. This will effectively protect the legitimate rights and interests of the people.”
On July 21, the CAC released resulting punishments following a network security review of Didi. According to the announcement, Didi indeed violated China’s Network Security Law, Data Security Law and Personal Information Protection Law. The company was therefore fined 8.026 billion yuan. In addition, Will Cheng, the chairman and CEO of Didi, and Jean Liu, the president of Didi, were each fined 1 million yuan ($147,900).
Didi later issued a document saying that it sincerely accepts the punishment, and will resolutely obey and strictly follow the decision and relevant laws and regulations. It said it will conduct comprehensive and in-depth self-examination, actively cooperate with supervision, and complete rectification procedures.