No tipping on taxi firm's revised app

Updated 2017-02-03 14:16:14 Shanghai Daily

Shanghaiusers of Didi Chuxing's taxi-hailing app can now download a version without the controversial function offering tips to taxi drivers in order to secure a car.

Last month, the city's transport authorities said the function was unfair and disrupting the taxi market. Didi was given two weeks to remove the function.

In a statement, the Shanghai Transportation Commission said that according to Didi Chuxing some smartphone users could either restart their handsets to get the new version or download it directly, while users of Android phones would have to download it.

The commission said taxi drivers would be fined if they were found charging passengers more than the price shown on their meters, no matter how they had been hailed.

The order was issued on January 24 after an increasing number of complaints about taxis becoming extremely difficult to get ahead of the Spring Festival.

The old version of the app suggested paying up to 50 yuan (.27) in addition to the normal fare to have a better chance of getting a ride during peak hours or bad weather.

A growing number of people complained that the function was encouraging drivers to cherry-pick passengers and making it difficult for others to get a ride, especially people who do not use the taxi-hailing app.

The situation became more acute after a regulation came into effect restricting Didi to using only local drivers and locally registered cars.

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