China’s cyber-watchdog announced Friday that officials from at least seven departments sent on-site teams to conduct a cybersecurity investigation of ride-hailing service Didi, stepping up scrutiny after earlier criticism of its handling of customer information caused the company’s New York-traded shares to tumble.
The on-site inspection comes two weeks after the regulator said it would probe the ride-hailing company over concerns about national security and data security.
The regulators include the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of State Security, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Natural Resources, State Taxation Administration and State Administration for Market Regulation, according to the statement.
CAC did not offer more details in its statement, but the involvement of several government agencies shows the heavier regulatory pressure on the 9-year-old company.
China is in the process of revamping its policy toward privacy and data security. It is drafting the Personal Information Protection Law, which calls for tech platforms to impose stricter measures to ensure secure storage of user data.
In September, China is set to implement its Data Security Law, which requires companies that process "critical data" to conduct risk assessments and submit reports. It also calls on organizations that process data affecting China's national security to submit to annual reviews.
CAC launched the data-related cybersecurity investigation into Didi just two days after it raised $4.4 billion from its New York initial public offering, citing the need to protect national security and the public interest. Regulators also ordered Didi to remove its apps in China, which Didi said might hurt its revenue.
Didi, which currently has a market capitalization of $60 billion, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on CAC's new statement. It earlier said it stores all China user and road data in China.
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