Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing is suspending its plans of launching its business in the UK and Europe. The company initially planned to roll out its services in Western Europe and in major UK cities this year.
The decision comes as China intensifies its scrutiny of tech giants, which are already facing regulatory pressures in Western nations. Last week, China's top legislative body passed a new privacy law that cracks down on the misuse of consumer data.
The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress passed the new Personal Information Protection Law, which effectively lays down rules for how user data is collected and utilized. The law is set to take effect in November.
Didi was recently targeted by Chinese regulators over how it collected user data. The company's app was forcibly taken down from online stores over allegations that it illegally collected personal data.
It is not yet clear if the passing of the law is connected with Didi's decision. The company has declined to comment on the matter, stating that it is still exploring new markets and talking to relevant stakeholders.
Didi said it is still working with a consultation team on its planned UK expansion. This includes discussions on possible reassignments and the removal of redundancies.
"As soon as we have any more news on additional new markets, we look forward to sharing," a Didi representative said.
Over the past year, Didi has been rapidly expanding its business beyond its home country. The company recently started to offer its services in countries such as Ecuador, South Africa, and Kazakhstan.
When pressed on its UK expansion, Didi said it has already established an international talent hub in the country. The company added that beyond that, information regarding its plans remains "strictly confidential."
In the past, the UK has been hesitant in letting in Chinese companies. Last year, the country banned China's Huawei Technologies from participating in its 5G infrastructure expansion efforts.
The UK has largely sided with the U.S., considering some Chinese companies a possible threat to national security. The previous Trump administration asserted that Huawei and some Chinese tech companies had links to the Chinese military.