Chinese authorities are set to allow DiDi Global's ride-hailing and other apps back on domestic app stores as soon as next week, reported Reuters, referring to sources.
This move is yet another signal that China’s two-year regulatory crackdown on the technology sector is ending.
DiDi has been awaiting authorities' approval to resume new user registrations and downloads of its 25 banned apps in China as a key step to resume normal business since its regulatory troubles started in mid-2021.
The lifting of the new user ban and app resumption for its flagship ride-hailing services and other business could take place before the Lunar New Year which begins on Jan. 22, said the sources.
A lifting of the ban on DiDi apps would come as Chinese policymakers count on the technology industry to help spur economic activity that has been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A restoration of apps would also signal Didi's completion of its one regulatory-driven revamp, and will come after the powerful cyber watchdog Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) imposed in July a $1.2 billion fine on the company.
DiDi's fine was the largest regulatory penalty imposed on a Chinese tech company since IT giants Alibaba and Meituan were fined $2.75 billion and $527 million respectively last year by China's antitrust regulator.
DiDi, launched in Beijing in 2012 and backed by prominent investors including Alibaba, Tencent and SoftBank Group, ran afoul of the CAC when in 2021 it pressed ahead with its U.S. stock listing against the regulator's will.
That move triggered regulatory woes for DiDi, with its 25 mobile apps ordered to be taken down from app stores, registration of new users suspended, and it getting slapped with the fine over data-security breaches. DiDi was also forced to end its 11-month-long journey as a New York Stock Exchange-traded company in June last year.