Ride-hailing Giant Didi Chuxing to Give Drivers Access to Pay Breakdown in Bid to Improve Transparency

Didi Chuxing has been facing complaints about the platform’s pricing and distribution mechanisms. (Source: Didi Chuxing)

Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing is pushing ahead with its pledge to be more transparent, especially on drivers’ remuneration, amid official concerns about the platform’s pricing mechanisms and accusations of unfair commission rates.

In an open letter addressed to the platform’s drivers, Sun Shu, CEO of Didi’s ride-hailing business and head of its drivers’ committee, said the company will be launching a new feature that will provide drivers detailed data about their pay and commission rates.

Starting from July, all Didi drivers will be able to access and view three sets of figures: the proportion of income earned per ride order in the past week; the average proportion of income earned from all orders in the past seven days; and the average proportion of income earned from all orders in the last day.

Sun also admitted that Didi’s last attempt in early May to stem public doubts by revealing for the first time its income mechanism and breakdown of costs per average for 2020 did little to regain its drivers’ trust.

According to the company, drivers received 79.1% of what customers paid for a ride, with the remaining going to passenger subsidies, corporate operation costs and taxes. Out of all orders, there is a 2.7% of “extreme cases” where Didi received 30% of the total trip costs.

In his letter, Sun emphasized that the figure has been lowered to 0.03% since May 7.

“We will do our very best to keep this number down until it is completely eliminated,” the executive said, adding that the platform welcomes drivers to report such cases.

Didi Chuxing was among 10 car- and truck-hailing platforms summoned by Chinese regulators – including the Ministry of Transport and the Cyberspace Administration of China – on May 14 for talks over excessive commission rates, unfair pricing and other improper practices.

Regulators ordered the platforms, which also included Meituan, Amap, Huolala and Kuaigou Dache to take immediate measures to keep drivers informed of commissions and intermediary fees, as well as improve pricing and distribution mechanisms. The companies were also ordered to rectify practices that violate gig workers’ rights and avoid excessive overtime.

Last month, Reuters reported that Beijing-based Didi has filed confidentially with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering led by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. The company could be valued at as much as US$70 billion to US$100 billion, sources told Reuters.

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The platform has amassed more than 550 million users and 31 million drivers since its founding in China nine years ago. It also operates in 14 overseas markets, including Australia, Japan, Latin America, Mexico and Russia.