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16 Jan 2023

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China Relents on Didi, Indicating Renewed Engagement with Global Tech Business

BEIJING (IDCA) – News comes out of China from Reuters that the Chinese government has rescinded an 18-month-old ban against the ride service Didi from engaging new customers. Didi, based in China and funded by Alibaba, Tencent, and Softbank, had run afoul of central authorities by running a public stock offering in the United States in 2021.

This story carries relevance to the world of Digital Infrastructure as a sign that China is becoming willing again to engage with the West and make global business a priority over ideology. According to the Reuters report, the move the move “comes as Chinese policymakers are seeking to restore private sector confidence and counting on the technology industry to help spur economic activity that has been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Ride-sharing apps are not yet enormous bandwidth consumers. Uber, for example, estimates its 3.5 million drivers worldwide each consume less than 3GB of bandwidth per month. Even if all drivers consumed close to that amount, the company's total bandwidth requirements would represent less than 0.02% of global Internet traffic, according to IDCA research.

Yet, the company's average worldwide internet connectivity of at least 10gb/second is substantial enough to the company itself. Figures such as this can be extrapolated into a future where ridesharing sees a magnitude of growth beyond the 93 million annual Uber customers, the growth of its competitors, and the substantial growth expected to come from various degrees of autonomy and ongoing telemetry in automobiles and trucks.

China's apparent new willingness to rejoin the global technology community will have an effect on the growth of Digital Infrastructure locally and stimulate the technology industry worldwide to serve the world's second-largest economy.

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