China to ramp up scrutiny of online ride-hailing firms

ride-hailing firms scrutiny
FILE PHOTO: A driver of Chinese ride-hailing service Didi drives with a phone showing a navigation map on Didi's app, in Beijing, China July 5, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/File Photo

HANGHAI (Reuters) – China will ramp up its scrutiny of online ride-hailing firms under plans to strengthen the protection of worker rights and require firms to amend any non-compliant operations, the Ministry of Transport said on Friday.

The ministry said in a statement which did not name any companies that it had found that some ride-hailing firms were infringing driver rights while other platforms were disrupting fair competition in the market.

Online ride-hailing firms with “illegal” operations will be required to put forth timetables and work plans on how they will expedite the removal of non-complaint vehicles and personnel, it said.

The ministry is planning to publish policies to protect the rights and interest of workers in the transport sector, it said.

Didi Global, China’s largest ride-hailing giant, has faced increasing regulatory pressure and became the target of an investigation by the Cyberspace Administration of China days after it raised $4.4 billion in an initial public offering.

Didi did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ministry’s statement.

China’s market regulator last week also introduced reforms on food delivery platforms targeting worker pay, insurance and a relaxation in delivery deadlines.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh in Shanghai and Yingzhi Yang in Beijing; editing by Jason Neely)

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