China's Didi resumes late-night ride-sharing services with stricter driver requirements

A Didi Chuxing driver checks the information on the app in his car in Beijing, China, on Aug 28, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (XINHUA) - Chinese ride-sharing platform Didi Chuxing announced on Friday (Sept 14) that it will resume its late-night services with stricter driver qualification requirements.

The move is part of its efforts to enhance passenger safety.

Under a trial plan, Didi's Express and Premier drivers may serve late-night trips only when they have a service record of over six months and 1,000 safe trips, among other requirements, according to a statement from the company.

Didi decided earlier this month to suspend its services between 11pm and 5am from Sept 8 to 15 to prepare for safety upgrades.

The temporary suspension came after a young female passenger was murdered by her Didi driver in August, the second such case in about three months, raising public concerns over the platform's safety.

The Ministry of Transport as well as the local authorities have urged Didi and its peers to conduct thorough safety checks of their services and called for more efficient and effective safety measures.

Besides enhanced emergency calls and stricter driver reverification process, Didi started trialling audio recording of trips on Sept 8, which it said has proved effective in reducing verbal harassment, conflicts and in supporting fair dispute resolution. Audio recordings are now done in 78.9 per cent of all trips.

As China's largest ride-hailing platform, Didi offers a wide range of app-based transportation options for 550 million users worldwide, with about 30 million rides each day.

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