Didi Removed From WeChat And Alipay Apps As China Crackdown Intensifies

The crackdown on Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Global continues as the company’s main app has now been removed from Tencent’s WeChat messaging service and Ant Group’s Alipay.

WeChat, which boasts more than one billion users, and Alipay, which has over 900 million, are so-called "super apps" within China. That means users can open and use other apps, such as Didi Global, without leaving Alipay or WeChat.

But the main Didi service has been removed as a shortcut from WeChat and Alipay. Both Alipay and WeChat are critical portals to connect services with users. The removal of Didi Global comes after Chinese regulators opened a cybersecurity review just days after the company’s $4.4-billion U.S. public listing.

On Sunday, authorities ordered app stores in China to remove the ride-hailing service. WeChat and Alipay are not technically app stores. It’s not clear how long after the Sunday order from regulators that WeChat and Alipay removed Didi from being searchable.

Shares of Didi Global fell more than 20% on Tuesday (July 6) as a result of the regulatory actions. Regulators in Beijing said they will step up supervision of Chinese firms listed overseas, particularly around data security and cross-border data flows.

The crackdown on Didi Global continues Beijing’s aggressive action against China’s technology giants, from the cancelling of the $34.5-billion U.S. Ant Group IPO last year to a $2.8 billion U.S. antitrust fine of Alibaba (NYSE:BABA).