Didi submits enormous heap of paperwork

The transportation commission has busted 97 unqualified Didi drivers since September 7.

The transportation commission has busted 97 unqualified Didi drivers since September 7.

By Friday Didi had submitted a huge quantity of documentation including information on all cars and drivers, plus a list of unqualified drivers and cars.

Rules came into force in December 2016 requiring drivers to be city residents driving cars with Shanghai plates. Didi was ordered to make a timetable to regulate itself, including dismissing all unqualified drivers by yesterday, but the quantity of documents received is enormous and more time is needed.

The platform resumed late-night services on Saturday after being halted for a week while new safety measures were put in place. Express and Premier drivers may only work late at night when they have been active on the platform for over six months and completed 1,000 safe trips. All drivers must pass daily facial recognition and safety test before they start work.

From September 8, Didi started recording all trips to provide evidence for any possible disputes. But can these new safety measures really make the trips safer?

“Recording is useless,” said Liu Minghui, a Didi Express driver since last year. “A driver can simply play loud music so that it won’t be able to record anything.”

Nonetheless, Liu said that since the feature was introduced he has become more cautious when talking to passengers.

Xu Xing, another driver has to answer simple questions each morning such as “What should the driver do if the passenger is taken ill?”

Neither Xu nor Liu has Shanghai residency. Liu said Didi had never told him to stop work because he was not a Shanghai local. Xu plans to sell his car and go back to Jiangsu Province by the end of the year.

“I can see the rules tightening even more in the future,” he said. “The business is not as profitable as it was before.”

“It is impossible for all drivers to be locals,” said Zhang Zhuliang, a Didi Premier driver. “The majority of drivers are non-locals.”

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