China hits the U.S. via the App Store

Ariel Ariel

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps #69 - Come Sail Away. Check out the full article for more insights.

The big controversy this week revolves around Didi, China's Uber.

The company IPOd in the U.S. last week, raising 4.4B, with a B, from investors in a supersized IPO, only to get slapped by Chinese regulators and have the app removed from the App Store in China immediately.

Although Didi operates in several countries, China makes up the majority of downloads on the App Store.

Since launching on the App Store in 2018, Didi's ride-hailing app was downloaded more than 102M Times—46.5M of those, from China. Although Didi's downloads suffered early into the pandemic, they've come up since. It's not fully back to normal, but it's not that far off.

So what? There are a few issues here. The first is that the regulators weren't super specific about why Didi can't be in the App Store anymore. The main thing was data handling, but I couldn't find what about it wasn't being done right.

Then we have the timing. The app was pulled from the store after investors sunk billions into the company. Almost immediately. That caused the stock to drop. In China's defense, it's been reported that regulators tried to stop the IPO but Didi did it anyway.

Is Didi a victim of the turbulent relationship between the U.S. and China? Will the stock recover once it fixes whatever regulators didn't like?

All good questions. In the meantime, Keep, another Chinese company that planned to IPO in the U.S., has canceled those plans.

One thing's clear, China prefers its companies to go public locally and not in the U.S.

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Tagged: #ipos

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