Didi drivers cherry pick 1,700 rides each day in February using loophole in app

The loophole allowed drivers to see the passenger's destination before picking them up.

More than 1,700 orders on Didi Chuxing were stood up by drivers who used a loophole on the app to cherry pick passengers each day in the first three weeks in February, Shanghai's traffic law enforcement department says.

A rule issued in December prohibits drivers reviewing passengers' destinations before accepting an order.

But drivers used a loophole in Didi's app to cherry pick — by accepting the order, the drivers could see the destination before picking the passenger up. By selecting the "paid with cash" option, the system would consider the order completed even though the drivers did not pick up the passenger.

One driver used the trick 678 times in the first three weeks last month.

Didi Chuxing was ordered by the traffic authority to fix the bug in a sit-down talk on February 9. Didi says an updated app will be launched in the middle of March which will make sure the drivers can only see the destination after they actually pick the passenger up.

Didi says 216 drivers used the trick, each more than 80 times, in the first three weeks of February. Eleven stood passengers up more than 260 times during the period.

The traffic authority is cross checking the names on the list with the complaints records in the system.

Once a complaint is verified, the driver will be suspended for 15 days and faces a 200-yuan (US$31) fine. If the driver's name appears on both lists twice, their taxi certificate will be revoked and they will be banned for at least five years.

The traffic authority will launch a series of ethical seminars among taxi firms to urge the companies to reinforce the management of drivers.