Major news over the holiday weekend as the Chinese government required all app stores in China to remove the Didi Chuxing app. Didi is the Chinese equivalent to Uber, and dominates shared rides in the country, along with a major presence abroad:
China has ordered app-store operators to remove the app of Didi from their stores, the latest as tension escalates between the nation’s largest ride-hailing giant and local regulators. The app has disappeared from several stores including Apple’s App Store in China, TechCrunch can confirm.
The nation’s cyberspace administration, which unveiled the order on Sunday, said Didi was illegally collecting users’ personal data.
Existing users can continue the use the app for now, but new signups are blocked. This comes just days after Didi raised billions in an IPO in New York, perhaps angering the Chinese government.
The claim of data violations seems specious. Didi’s CEO, Li Min, denies that any data is handled improperly or passed to the US.
This is part of a broader crackdown on China’s technology industry:
- Alibaba Group fined $2.8 billion shortly after CEO Jack Ma criticizes the Communist Party
- Fintech giant Ant Group, also founded by Jack Ma, has IPO cancelled
- Bitcoin miners forced to shut down and are racing to move their servers elsewhere, including the US, as the Chinese government prepares to launch its own competing digital currency
- A Chinese billionaire, many of whom are in the technology industry, dies every 40 days on average, often in suspicious “accidents” and “suicides.” Some are simply executed.
What is this doing to China’s technology industry? The damage is reflected in a massive decline in the number of “unicorns,” or startups reaching $1 billion valuation, in China. Meanwhile, the number of unicorns in the US is skyrocketing and the tech industry as a whole is hotter than ever.
China’s overall economy has also trended sharply downwards in recent years:
The Communist Party doesn’t want any competing power centers, and the Chinese tech industry, with its wealth and control of information, is perhaps the biggest alternative power center left.
But the industry needs freedom to experiment and exchange ideas, and a stable climate without the constant threat of fines, shutdowns and imprisonment. Entrepreneurs can find that here in the US, along with abundant funding. And I think you’ll see more and more of them making that jump.
More on technology:
If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Reddit/etc. using the buttons at the bottom of the page. This helps more people find the blog! And please leave your comments at the bottom.
Save Money on Stuff I Use:
This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.
If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account. I will also get a fee waiver for 90-365 days, depending on what type of account you open.
The only place I buy vitamins and supplements. I recently placed an order and received it in less than 48 hours with free shipping! I compared the prices and they were lower than Amazon. I also love how they test a lot of the vitamins so that you know you’re getting what the label says. This isn’t always the case with supplements.
Use this link to save 5%! I’ll also get 5% of however much you spend, at no cost to you.
My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.
Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. I’ll also get $10.