By Josh Ye
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Global plans to expand services and offer more subsidies to passengers and drivers, it said on Thursday, looking to shore up its business in China following the end of a regulatory probe.
The company will work with partners in the industry to offer more services and cover more cities, it said in an online statement posted on Thursday that cited a speech at an event in the coastal city of Fuzhou.
“Currently, traveling and consumption are quickly recovering across China. The number of orders for online ride-hailing is constantly increasing,” the statement said.
The Chinese company had been a target of Beijing’s sweeping crackdown on the tech sector, which began in 2021 and had eased in recent months. Didi was banned by Chinese regulators from taking in new users and its app was removed from app stores from mid-2021 until this January.
The ride-hailing firm, launched in Beijing in 2012 and backed by prominent investors including Alibaba, Tencent and SoftBank Group, ran afoul of regulators at the powerful Cyberspace Administration of China when it pressed ahead in 2021 with a U.S. stock listing against the regulator’s wishes, sources have told Reuters.
In January, Didi said in a statement it had been given the green light from domestic regulators to resume new user registrations for its core ride-hailing app. Chinese policymakers are seeking to restore private-sector confidence and tap the technology sector to help spur an economy ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Reporting by Ye Josh and Brenda Goh; Editing by Edmund Klamann)