For breaking the laws governing data security in the nation, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) on Thursday announced fines totalling more than 8 billion ($1.2 billion) against ride-sharing company Didi Global and 1 million ($148,000) against two company executives.
The fines follow the CAC's order to remove 25 Didi-operated apps from app stores as it launched its investigation a year ago. Didi reportedly took this action in response to the investigation when it informed the New York Stock Exchange in May that it would be delisting its shares from the American market.
In a translated statement, the Chinese regulator charged Didi with breaking network security laws, data security laws, and laws protecting personal information. The statement also stated that the investigation turned up "clear facts, conclusive evidence, serious circumstances, and bad nature."
According to a report from The Washington Post, the CAC discovered Didi illegally collected 1.4 million pieces of family relationship information, 107 million pieces of passenger facial recognition data, and 12 million screenshots from users' mobile photo albums.
According to the CAC, 64.7 billion pieces of personal data—including users' ages, home addresses, locations, and driver education—have been gathered since Didi's first infraction in 2015.
Both the president of the business, Liu Qing, and the chairman and CEO of Didi, Cheng Wei, received fines.
Didi acknowledged the fines in a statement published on its Weibo account, a Chinese social media platform.
The translated statement read, "We sincerely accept and resolutely obey the decision on administrative penalties related to network security review in accordance with the law. We will take this as a warning, insist on paying equal attention to both security and development, further strengthen the construction of network security and data security, strengthen the protection of personal information, and earnestly fulfill our social responsibilities."
By fLEXI tEAM