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Why it's so hard to hail a taxi in China? | Updated: 2017-01-25 14:39

Over the past ten days, many people in China, especially those in first-tier cities including Beijing and Shanghai, have been complaining that it takes over 30 minutes to grab a car through Didi Chuxing, China's premier online car and taxi hailing platform.

And beyond waiting times, the costs have often-times doubled.

Customer complaints

A media survey of 200 people from 22 cities shows that more than 36% respondents say they've been forced to wait an additional 10 to 30 minutes before a driver (of either a private car or a taxi registered on the platform) accepts their order.

This is compared with the time it took when there were no online hailing services.

Why it's so hard to hail a taxi in China?

Customers may spend much time on waiting before getting a ride. [Photo/WeChat Subscription of Channel Wu/]

Over 60% respondents say it's been more expensive to use Didi these days, mainly because they have to pay "car-scheduling fees," which are actually tips, to drivers at the premium price. Those who don't pay the premium are often neglected by the drivers.

Why it's so hard to hail a taxi in China?

Most respondents say it costs much to use Didi compared with the fees they pay for taxies when there were no online hailing services. [Photo/WeChat Subscription of Channel Wu/]

During peak hours, drivers appear to be ignoring passengers' requests until the value of the tip meets their demands.

Didi has confirmed the higher tips they pay, the more likely it is that customers will get a cab.

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