Ride-hailing platforms Didi Chuxing and its standalone platform Huaxiaozhu were fined a total of about 1.4 million yuan for insufficiently implementing Covid-19 prevention measures and inadequately supervising their drivers’ behavior, according to a Beijing press conference on the latest news regarding Covid-19 on Jan. 10.
The transportation law enforcement department penalized Huaxiaozhu for failings in 12 cases and fined the company 340,000 yuan, while 96 drivers from Didi Chuxing were punished, with the company being fined 1.07 million yuan.
More specifically, the two platforms were sanctioned because their drivers failed to properly disinfect their cars and carry out in-vehicle ventilation. Furthermore, they did not wear masks, wore them incorrectly, or did not remind passengers to wear them.
As winter arrived, China has seen occasional and regional outbreaks of Coronavirus in the capital city Beijing as well as other provinces such as Liaoning and Hebei. The central government is both re-emphasizing and reinforcing measures to control the spread of the virus, including wearing masks in public places and scanning health codes to track down the contacts of infected people.
From Dec. 27, 2020 to Jan. 1, 2021, three ride-hailing drivers were found among newly-confirmed, asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 in Beijing. Two of them worked for Huaxiaozhu.
On Dec. 30, Huaxiaozhu announced it would halt services in the capital for a week and send all of its registered drivers to take nucleic acid testing. On Jan. 4, Didi stated that it would have 9,000 Didi and Huaxiaozhu drivers receive nucleic acid tests per day.
As a standalone platform established in July 2020, Huaxiaozhu was among eight online car-hailing platforms with a total of more than 1 million monthly orders in November, according to statistics from China Transport Telecommunications & Information Center (CTTIC).
On Jan. 7, Didi announced that 27,788 Huaxiaozhu drivers have completed nucleic acid tests and 17,066 have tested negative.