(Yicai Global) Aug. 14 -- Shanghai hit the world's largest ride-hailing provider Didi Chuxing with some CNY5.5 million (USD778,600) in fines in July as the eastern metropolis tightens regulation over the once burgeoning sector.
Local transport authorities made 21 inspections in the month and issued a total of 114 tickets to 14 service providers, state-owned news agency Xinhua reported yesterday. The penalties involved failure to provide operations data, non-compliant vehicles and other violations, the report added, saying Didi's archrival Meituan Dianping also received nearly CNY1.5 million in fines.
Regulators have also teamed up with the municipal communications administration for the first time to run a joint law enforcement campaign targeting ride-hailing platforms -- and on Aug. 12 and yesterday found Didi was hiring unlicensed drivers so slapped the Beijing-based firm with another CNY200,000 (USD28,300) in penalties.
Authorities will start handing out harsher punishments, such as removing mobile applications from app stores, suspending their internet services and shutting down their servers, over the next six months, a law enforcement officer told Xinhua.
Shanghai and other Chinese cities have been stepping up supervision of the ride-hailing sector after two incidents last year where drivers from Hitch, Didi's now suspended car-pooling service with lower driver requirements, killed their passengers.
The firm solicited public opinions for its plans to rectify the service last month, suggesting the Hitch may make a return in the near future.
Editor: James Boynton