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August 14, 2019

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Ride-hailing firms ordered to shape up

Ride-hailing firms that still allow unqualified drivers and cars to operate may lose Internet access for up to six months or have their apps shut down, according to the Shanghai Transportation Commission’s law enforcement department.

Unqualified drivers and cars refer to drivers who don’t have permanent Shanghai residency, and private or rented cars without a certificate to transport passengers. 

When law enforcement officers visited Didi Chuxing, Meituan Dianping, Xiangdao Chuxing and Shouqi Limousine & Chauffeur on Monday and yesterday, they found Didi and Meituan still had a fairly large number of unqualified drivers and cars providing ride-hailing services.

Didi was fined 100,000 yuan (US$14,150) and Meituan 30,000 yuan.

Since July, the two firms have received 114 tickets from the city’s traffic authority. Altogether, Didi was fined 5.5 million yuan and Meituan 1.47 million yuan in July.

But little has changed.

Over the past three days, more than 80 percent of unqualified ride-hailing cars detected by the traffic authority’s online supervisory platform came from Didi and another 15 percent from Meituan.

Both Didi and Meituan say they will keep working with the authorities to weed out unqualified cars, but neither could give an exact number of how many unqualified cars and drivers there are, and neither had a timetable for eliminating them. 

Penalties may be increased if the situation carries on, law enforcement officers said.

According to the Shanghai Communications Administration, the apps that allow illegal ride-hailing cars to operate may face a temporary shutdown.

“The apps will be removed from the app stores, or they will lose Internet access, up to six months,” said an official from the administration.


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