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Strict rules issued for car-hailing companies

By Wang Keju | China Daily | Updated: 2018-09-12 09:29

Multiple inspection groups from government authorities have kicked off a safety check into seven companies in the car-hailing and ride-sharing industry, including Didi Chuxing.

Inspections by officials from the Ministry of Transport, the Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission and the Ministry of Public Security aim to strengthen consumer safety measures and rectify safety problems.

The transport and public security ministries also announced a national safety overhaul on Monday to ferret out safety loopholes and problems affecting the safety of passengers and the public in ride-hailing and carpooling services. The overhaul will start immediately and remain in effect until the end of the year.

Local transport authorities and police must move promptly, an official statement said, taking actions that include background checks on drivers. No unauthorized vehicles or drivers should be accepted on the company's platform, and those already there should be expelled if they fail to meet requirements by the end of the year.

Companies must fulfill their business responsibility through measures including not sending orders to unauthorized vehicles or drivers, early warnings about cars that deviate from their expected course or those that have unreasonably long delays, and implementation of a random order dispatch mechanism.

Companies should also improve their methods of processing complaints, while adding alarms and quick-response mechanisms. Platforms should provide information about registered drivers and vehicles, vehicle locations, route tracking and passenger information to public security departments in real time.

It is necessary for the companies to have a 24-hour safety management and emergency response team and immediately make necessary reports to public security organs.

Businesses will be asked to adopt new technology to forestall risks, such as facial recognition to verify the identities of drivers and big data to detect hazards such as deviations and delays.

More efforts are required in privacy protection for passengers, as well as stricter action on drivers involved in complaints and random offline checks on cars and drivers.

The statement also urged quick responses from authorities about crimes and demanded technological support from ride-hailing platforms for police investigations.

The toughened requirements come after the deaths of two passengers in less than 100 days, both of whom were using the Didi Chuxing hitch service.

Didi has announced a suspension of its late-night ride-hailing services on the Chinese mainland and announced safety initiatives such as a one-click "call police" function to its application.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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