The Ministry of Transportation announced on Tuesday the result of the investigation into Didi Chuxing, which was launched just days after the second killing of a female passenger by her driver.
Authorities said Didi’s carpool service Hitch lacks adequate safety measures which could lead to major safety hazards, according to Xinhua (in Chinese). Authorities also slammed Didi for “failing to conduct driver qualification and background checks.” The ministry said that there are still a large number of illegal cars and unqualified drivers on Didi’s platform, adding that many of the safety personnel are also unlicensed.
The ministry said Didi Hitch should not only be suspended before meeting necessary regulatory requirements, but it should also clean up the illegal activities plaguing its platform. Furthermore, authorities also said executives and legal representatives should be fined and penalized for their negligence but did not specify the amount the fines should be.
Although the investigation was targeted at Didi Chuxing, it was actually an industry-wide crackdown that hit 7 other ride-hailing platforms including Shouqi, Shenzhou, CaoCao, Yidao Yongche, Meituan, DiDa, and Autonavi. The ministry said it will also take necessary steps against anti-competitive behavior in the ride-hailing industry.
In response to the conclusion of the investigation, founder and CEO of Didi Chuxing Cheng Wei said in a press release today that Didi’s will continue its safety rectification program for the next 6 months, and the Hitch service “will remain suspended indefinitely.”
The company said it will comply with regulatory requirements proposed by the Ministry and will “strengthen safety audits, organize offline inspections and driver interviews.” Moreover, the company will take an active role in organizing training sessions for drivers as well as helping drivers to acquire the necessary licenses, said Cheng.
Didi will also ramp up investment in safety products and improve existing safety measures such as audio and video recording during rides and one-tap panic button.
“As a young company, Didi still needs to work on many shortcomings and imperfections that have brought the public great concern,” Cheng admittedly said.