China to launch nationwide inspections of ride-hailing companies

Passengers sit into a car provided by Didi Chuxing's Kuaiche service in front of its headquarters building in Beijing, China, on Aug 28, 2018.
Passengers sit into a car provided by Didi Chuxing's Kuaiche service in front of its headquarters building in Beijing, China, on Aug 28, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - China will conduct comprehensive inspections on all ride-hailing service companies, the transport ministry said on Friday (Aug 31), after a driver from dominant firm Didi Chuxing murdered a 20-year-old passenger this month.

The inspections, starting from Wednesday (Sept 5), will cover all ride-hailing service platforms nationwide, the ministry said in a statement.

Didi said it welcomed the move and would fully cooperate to implement measures for improvement.

"We accept the supervision and will do our best to improve our services to ensure the safety of the public," Didi said in a statement posted on its official account on China's Twitter-like Weibo website.

The murder of the passenger who rode in a Didi vehicle took place in the eastern city of Wenzhou, and was the second such incident involving Didi since May.

The latest case sparked outrage and raised concerns about safety in the fast-growing ride-hailing sector in China, prompting the company to say that it would suspend its Hitch service indefinitely until it comes up with a safety mechanism acceptable to its users.