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China Moves to Overhaul Ride-hailing Services Over Safety Concerns
 

Chinese regulators have decided to launch a nationwide safety overhaul of ride-hailing platforms amid concerns that the web-based services may bring more risks than convenience.

The Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Public Security on September 10 jointly announced a campaign against illegal activities in ride-hailing and car-pooling services, which will start immediately and remain effective till the end of the year.

Local transport authorities and police should move promptly, an official statement said, citing measures including background checks on drivers, fulfillment of business responsibility, and improved mechanisms on complaint, alarm and quick-response.

Businesses will be asked to adopt new technology to forestall risks -- facial recognition to examine the identity of drivers and big data to detect hazards, such as deviation from the right path and unreasonable, long stops.

More efforts are required in areas including privacy protection of passengers, stricter actions on drivers involved in complaints, and random offline checks on cars and drivers.

The statement also urged quick responses from authorities to related crimes and demanded technological support from ride-hailing platforms for police investigations.

The toughened supervision came after the deaths of two passengers in less than 100 days, both of whom were using the Didi Chuxing app, China's largest mobile ride-hailing platform.

Didi has suspended its late-night ride-hailing services on the Chinese mainland and announced safety initiatives including adding a one-click "Call Police" function to its application.

(Xinhua News Agency September 10, 2018)
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