As the founder of a two-year-old tech startup in Shenzhen, a coastal metropolis of 13 million people is likened to China's Silicon Valley, 28-year-old David Liang is used to burning the midnight oil.
Almost without fail, Liang would go back to his office after dinner, staying as late as 2am working on lines of code, or reviewing the business plan for his online education startup. But not this week. Liang headed straight home after his shift, because Didi Chuxing, the Uber of China, had been suspended for seven days all of its services from 11pm to 5am. He could stand on the street to hail a taxi, but he has grown so accustomed to hailing a cab with his smartphone that he decided it was not worth the hassle.
“I like to stay alone at night in the office because I can think more clearly without anyone disturbing me, “Liang said as he emerged from the One. “But the suspension of the service has been disrupted my working habit.”
Across China, millions of people who use. Didi to hail taxis, book private-car rides or arrange for shared trips. because of the suspension. Interviews with taxi drivers, private-car drivers and commuters throw up a consistent observation: fewer people get away easily. The week-long suspension, which began last Saturday, was meant to allow, in-stop audio recording, including the upgrade of a panic button and intensified background checks of drivers.
The did-driver of
Since the death-the Didi driver driver was arrested and, according to police, has confessed to the rape and murder – media have uncovered a trail of the past sexual assault convictions.
After apologizing for the company's “breathless expansion” and “vanity” in the chasing scale, Didi's founder Cheng Wei disclosed razor-thin margins for its business, which lost on average abou t US $ 100mil (RM414mil) a month after subsidies in the first half. Didi is “by no means an evil company, and would never prioritize profit before anything else,” he said in a letter to employees.
Be that as it may, the week-long suspension was met with scepticism among some quarters .
China Central Television (CCTV), the state broadcaster, questioned the company's motives in a program on Monday, citing an online survey where about two in three interviewees said they missed the days when Didi was available round-the-clock.
“Is it an intentional or unintentional move to drive public opinion to lean towards it?” The CCTV presenter asked in the show, citing a netizen's comment that the suspension is a “smart move” -night services.
Didi did not have an official response to the criticism, but it was understood that. (19659002) As part of its safety upgrade, Didi was said to be be successful reminders and alerts when a driver deviates from a route. The company is on the way to the police station. Currently, the panic button sends the real-time location and ride details, such as the license plate number, driver name and car description, to passengers and their emergency contacts.
hailing platforms to adopt facial recognition to verify driver identities, to cap the number of hitch-riding orders that a driver can take on per day, shut down all social networking warning system for route deviation and irregular stops.
Private-hire car driver Cai, 46, used to earn about 600 yuan (RM362) a day fulfilling trips from the Didi platform, but takings have been dropped by 30% since the late-night suspension. He tried to pick up fares (illegally) at Shenzhen Hi-Tech Park, where many tech companies including Tencent Holdings have offices, after 11pm but was unsuccesful because “people now have stronger safety awareness”.
Another driver, who gave his name to Li, did not know why regulators could not leave. Didi alone and “mind better things”.
“The two cases both happened in remote areas, and for hitch-riding service,” he said, referring to Didi's Hitch ride-sharing service that matches driver and rider on longer-distance trips. “Now with tightened regulations, I hear cars on the Didi platform will shrink dramatically …”
Before the mobile-app-based ride-booking was introduced in China, scenes of passengers fighting or quarrelling over taxis in major cities during the morning and evening rush hours were commonplace. In Shanghai's Lujiazui financial district, for example, illegal taxis used to start appearing outside the Pudong Shangri-La hotel past 10pm, demanding exorbitant fares to ferry people across the Huangpu River.
Over in Beijing's Sanlitun nightlife district, that practice was well in evidence late Wednesday night.
“That ride should be in the air.”
“That ride should cost 50 yuan (RM30) at most, “came a rejoinder from a patron. Gao shot back: “Well, it's not as if you can hail a Didi or taxi, can you? 80 yuan (RM48), but no less. “
A group of about 20 police officers showed up before 11pm to patrol the streets and prevent unlicensed taxis from harassing passers-by. The unlicensed taxi drivers were soon in a less chatty mood.
Two young women, who managed to hail a ride from a smaller operator called Dida, said that they were not planning any more late-night partying this week as “transport is not so convenient for us party animals recently. “
For those living in a sprawling city like Beijing, there is always the bicycle.
” We'll take the 20-minute bike ride as a late-night exercise, “said a young woman, surnamed Wang, after she and her boyfriend unlocked two yellow Ofo bicycles using the mobile smartphone app. It was 11.30pm and they lived about 4km away.
Back in Shenzhen, taxi driver Liu, 35, while popular, is not indispensable.
“People have stopped “said Liu, who has been driving a taxi for four years. “- South China Morning Post” The South China Morning Post “