Shanghai orders Didi to remove fare hike function

Updated 2017-01-25 09:24:14 China Daily

Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission held an urgent meeting with the leading ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing on Tuesday, urging the platform to eliminate the price-hiking function within two days.

Didi said during the meeting that they will delete the price-hiking module in the application, according to the commission's requirement. The company published a note on Monday, saying that they have temporarily eliminated the function of "suggested price hiking". In that function, a window would pop out when the user opened the app, asking the user if he would like to pay extra money for a ride.

The commission required Didi to delete another function of a "dispatching fee paid by passengers out of their own will". In this way, the possibility of paying extra money for a ride would be completely eliminated in Shanghai.

But since it will take some time for the updated app to be examined, Didi said they could not promise to complete the process within two days. Didi, however, said it would definitely make the change and it will be completed within two weeks.

This change will be only within Shanghai, Didi said.

Li Yi, deputy director at the internet plus consulting center at the Internet Society of China, applauded the Shanghai transportation commission on his personal Weibo account. He advised transportation commissions of other cities to follow up. He also suggested that the Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Commerce look into the issue.

Luo Wen, a senior product director of Didi Chuxing, published an explanation on the online question-and-answer platform Zhihu on Saturday, saying that the approaching Spring Festival is the main reason for recent hailing difficulties since the number of orders has risen but that of available taxi drivers decreased.

"For example, the number of taxi drivers taking online orders has dropped by 25 percent, but the number of orders surged by 30 percent recently in Beijing. The short supply has resulted in rising prices," he wrote.

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