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Ride-hailing firm DiDi pushes UK launch plans back by at least 12 months

Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi has suspended its plans to launch in Britain and Europe following concerns over the handling of sensitive passenger data, according to news sources.

The ride-hailing giant were preparing to enter the UK private hire market to rival Uber, Bolt and other app based ride-sharing firms, after an application submitted to Trafford Council emerged earlier this summer.

The company submitted an application to Trafford Council for use of an office at Empress Business Centre on Chester Road, stating the premises will be used as office space for employees, not a driver or passenger hub.

Didi had also obtained operating licences in other regions of the UK, but it is now claimed the firm have pulled back on plans for at least 12 months, according to The Telegraph.

It is claimed that employees working on the planned UK launch have been notified of possible redundancy and hiring in Britain has now ceased.

DiDi, also known as DiDi Chuxing, has over 500 million users across countries such as mainland China, Brazil, Mexico and Japan.

The company provides app-based transportation services, including taxi hailing, private car hailing, social ride-sharing and bike sharing; on-demand delivery services; and automobile services, including sales, leasing, financing, maintenance, fleet operation, electric vehicle charging and co-development of vehicles with automakers.

The decision to pull from the UK comes as Didi faces pressure from the Chinese government. Share prices have plummeted since its £50billion flotation in June and authorities in Beijing have demanded the removal of the app from download stores.

Chinese authorities have also restricted the ride-hailing firm's position to recruit new users following a cybersecurity investigation started by worries over riders' data leaving China.


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