Retail & Consumer

Tim Hortons China to create local unit to address data crackdown

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A man walks past a store front poster advertising the opening of a cafe of the Canadian coffee and fast food chain Tim Hortons in Beijing, China, July 6, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

Aug 24 (Reuters) - Tim Hortons China will create a separate entity of the coffee and fast-food chain to safeguard customer data, the blank check firm, through which it aims to list in the United States, said.

The new entity, referred to as "NewCo" in the filing from earlier this month, will be incorporated in China.

Tim Hortons China will not own any stake in the entity. The local unit will instead enter into a long-term contract with Tim Hortons China to provide services for a cost, according to the filing.

The statement comes against the backdrop of China's internet watchdog, Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), launching a probe into Didi Global (DIDI.N) two days after the ride-hailing giant's New York stock market debut.

The CAC action against Didi and two other firms that went public in the United States was swiftly followed by Beijing's announcement that it will clamp down on overseas-traded Chinese firms, many of them U.S.-listed tech companies, and tighten regulation of cross-border data flows and security.

The blank check firm Silver Crest Acquisition Corp (SLCR.O) said that TH International Limited, or Tim Hortons China, "believes that the creation and operation of NewCo directly addresses the valid concerns highlighted by recent statements by the Cyberspace Administration of China."

The company will inform CAC and other regulators of its plans and operation of the separate entity, the filing said.

Earlier this month, Tim Hortons China had agreed to go public in a merger with Silver Crest, valuing the business at $1.69 billion, including debt.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Echo Wang in New York; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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