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Safety overhaul begins for Didi

By LI LEI | China Daily | Updated: 2018-09-06 08:20
The Ministry of Transport (MOT), the Ministry of Public Security and local authorities on Sunday ordered ride-hailing platform Didi Chuxing to rectify operation patterns so that ensure safety with its services after a female passenger was killed in east China's Zhejiang Province. [Photo/VCG]

A nationwide inspection targeting ride-hailing companies has kicked off with a check into Didi Chuxing, which has seen two female passengers killed by drivers of the company's hitch service since May.

A team of inspectors from 10 ministries, including the Ministry of Transport and the Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, aims to find out whether the company has seriously addressed its safety problems and whether it is ready to provide data as required, the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

The inspection aims to strengthen consumer safety measures for internet-based car-hailing and ride-sharing companies, and is expected to last half a month, the statement said.

Those with safety risks will be told to straighten things up, and personnel responsible will be punished, it said.

Cheng Wei, CEO of Didi, expressed willingness to cooperate and pledged 140 million yuan ($20.5 million) to improve its customer service, according to China National Radio.

Didi is short of experience in running such a large scale ride-hailing service, and the company will enhance its cooperation with government departments and strengthen the background checks of its drivers, he was quoted as saying.

The company will suspend most of its services between 11 pm and 5 am for a week starting on Saturday, the company said on Tuesday.

The ministry has pledged to punish all companies like Didi that violate laws or regulations, enhance supervision over their implementation of consumer safety measures and improve policies and mechanisms that govern the industry.

A 20-year-old woman died on Aug 24 after hailing a car from Didi in Yueqing, Zhejiang province. The driver was caught by police the following day and has confessed to raping and killing the woman.

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