Didi singled out after taxi crackdown

A driver from the taxi hailing firm as well as Didi itself are under investigation by the transportation commission's law enforcement department.

Ride-hailing taxi operations involving non-local vehicles or drivers account for most of the 7,972 cases that the Shanghai transportation commission’s law enforcement department has clamped down on since the city issued new rules governing the popular online ride-hailing service last December.

A transportation department spokesman said that from January to October this year, 3,600 drivers had their driving licenses seized.

The taxi hailing company Didi Chuxing has been singled out for a case by the department.

On November 18, one of Didi’s drivers refused to take passengers and assaulted them, leaving one person with a fractured finger, according to media reports.

The law enforcement department spokesman told Shanghai Daily that both the driver and Didi Chuxing are now under investigation for the case.

“We will look into whether the driver was qualified to drive ride-hailing vehicles or not,” said the spokesman.

Under the city’s new rules, online ride-hailing taxi service operators have to use cars registered in the city with Shanghai license plates while the drivers must have local household registration.

Didi Chuxing, according to the department, has so far been fined on three occasions for providing unqualified vehicles or drivers for its ride-hailing services.

“Didi was fined 100,000 yuan (US$15,165) each time in January, August and this month,” said the spokesman. 

A Didi driver, who identified himself as Chen, said that although the policy prohibited non-locals "Didi actually allows non-locals to drive as long as the plate is registered in Shanghai.”

Chen, who hails from Anhui Province, added that "if you got caught, the authority fines you 1,000 yuan for the first time, then 3,000 if you are caught again; Didi would pay for this.”

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