The ride-hailing giant Didi is fined $1.2bn for violating the data security law

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China fined ride-hailing giant Didi more than 8 billion yuan concluding a year-long investigation into alleged data security violations.

Didi, the Chinese ride giant, saw the emergence of supersized monopolies and years of runaway growth. It had been a high-profile target of CAC for a widespread crackdown on China's tech firms.

After a year-long investigation, the Cyberspace Administration of China could prove Didi's violation of an "egregious nature." Didi was accused of illegally storing the ID information of more than 57 million drivers in plain text instead of a more secure format. The regulators said that Didi also analyzed passengers' data, including face recognition data and photos on their phones, without the knowledge of the passenger.

The regulator announced that it had started an investigation into Didi just days after the firm launched its shares in the US last year. The CAC also said it had imposed fines of one million yuan each on Didi's president, Liu Qing, chief executive, and Global chairman Cheng Wei. Didi accepted the ruling and promised to conduct in-depth and comprehensive self-examination. The company posted on Weibo, "We will take this as a warning and pay equal attention to security and development."