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Didi Soars 50% on Report China to Lift Ban on New Users, App

Chinese regulators are said to be concluding probes into Didi and two other firms and preparing to lift restrictions on their apps

An NYSE trader works on the Didi IPO in New York last July.
"It remains unclear how DiDi’s case will unfold, but much can be learnt from looking back on Jack Ma’s experience with Ant Financial," Martin Miszerak said. File photo: Reuters.


Shares of Didi Global soared 50% on Monday amid reports that China’s regulators plan to allow the ride-hailing giant’s mobile apps back on domestic app stores, possibly as early as this week.

Chinese regulators are also concluding probes into Didi and two other firms, preparing to lift restrictions on their apps, and to allow new users, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The report, citing unnamed people familiar with the issues, is the latest signal to investors that official promises to ease pressure on China’s internet sector may be gaining traction.

Didi’s US shares jumped to $2.78 in pre-market trade as short-sellers bailed out while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng tech index surged to close 4.6% higher.

Didi did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) was not immediately available for comment. Didi’s apps were removed from app stores in July 2021 when authorities opened an investigation into the company’s data security.


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Full Truck Alliance, Kanzhun

Regulators are also planning to allow apps of logistics platform Full Truck Alliance Co and online recruitment services company Kanzhun Ltd back on app stores this week, the report said, citing people familiar with the discussions.

Full Truck Alliance’s Yunmanman and Huochebang apps, two of China’s major truck-hailing platforms, have resumed new user registration, checks on Monday showed.

Full Truck and Kanzhun did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but investors were optimistic. Full Truck shares leapt 28% in pre-market trade and Kanzhun shares rose 21%.

“Since the middle of May policies of the central government have pointed to less regulation (of the sector),” said Steven Leung, executive director of institutional sales at brokerage UOB Kay Hian in Hong Kong.

“This is a second confirmation that the central government isn’t going to do anything more. It helps sentiment,” he said, though adding that it was unlikely to herald a return to previous growth expectations or prompt a longer stock rally.

The CAC had ordered app stores to remove 25 apps operated by Didi last year as part of a wider crackdown drawing in some of China’s biggest corporate names.

Authorities also told the company to stop registering new users, citing national security and the public interest.

The moves came just days after the ride-hailing giant listed in New York and sent already fragile markets into a tailspin.

The three companies are still expected to face financial penalties, along with offering 1% equity stakes to the state and give the government a direct role in corporate decisions, WSJ reported.

Didi last year announced plans to de-list in the United States in favour of a new listing in Hong Kong.


• Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard






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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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