(ECNS) -- Didi Chuxing, China's largest ride-hailing platform, said a shortage of taxi drivers and increasing demand have made ride-hailing more difficult in several cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan and Hangzhou.
Taxi transport capability in big cities dropped sharply in recent days as many drivers left to visit their hometowns for Spring Festival, China's Lunar New Year, said Luo Wen, a senior director at Didi Chuxing.
The number of car-hailing drivers has decreased 25 percent, but passengers and orders increased about 30 percent at the same time, Luo said, quoting data from Didi Chuxing.
A woman surnamed Xiong in Beijing told cnr.cn that she was required to pay 15 yuan (.18) to 20 yuan as premium to get a taxi one night in Beijing.
"Didi Chuxing said the premium was required during peak hours, but it was 9 pm," Xiong said, adding that she refused, and failed to get a taxi for more than 70 minutes that night.
Xiao Liu, another citizen in the capital, has given up on taxis when travelling in the city. She complained that Didi Chuxing is making taxi hailing more difficult by compiling data on travel patterns that is provided to drivers, who then choose riders according to their own destinations and potential prices.
Unlike Didi Chuxing's registered private car drivers, taxi drivers are not forced to accept bookings from the platform, said a driver surnamed Wang, adding that they get notices from the platform and accept the ones they like. "When there are a lot of choices and passengers, drivers tend to accept those with high payment, or for a premium," Wang said.
A source said the other core reason is that the number of private cars in Beijing dropped after a new rules took effect on Nov 1 regulating driver and car qualifications.