Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Global Inc has suspended its plans to launch in Britain and continental Europe, The Telegraph reported on Monday, against the backdrop of a regulatory backlash at home over data privacy.
Staff working on the planned launches have been told that they face possible redundancy and Didi has stopped hiring in Britain, pulling the launch plans for at least a year, according to the report.
“We continue to explore additional new markets, liaising with relevant stakeholders in each and being thoughtful about when to introduce our services,” a Didi spokesperson said, without mentioning the UK launch plans.
“As soon as we have any more news on additional new markets, we look forward to sharing.”
Chinese companies have been caught in a pincer with increasing U.S. scrutiny on one side and a domestic regulatory crackdown on the country’s massive internet sector.
The move has rattled tech giants in the country and Didi is under a cybersecurity review, as China revamps its policy towards privacy and data security to ensure secure storage of user data.
Didi which listed its shares in New York in June after raising $4.4 billion in an initial public offering, is looking to expand its international business with recent launches in South Africa, Ecuador and Kazakhstan.