After the murder of a 21-year-old flight attendant, ride-hailing services, more specifically DiDi Chuxing, the app in which the suspect and victim used that lead to the murder, have come under heavy criticism online in China. Many outraged people voiced their concerns over loose verification process for drivers and safety measures for passengers. The scale of the ride-hailing industry in China is massive. Didi, the largest ride-hailing company in the country connects more than 25 million rides each day and has more than 21 million drivers and car owners registered.
The Chinese government has been quick to respond. In a joint statement lead by the Ministry of Transport and six other ministries, they announced they will launch joint supervision of the ride-hailing industry, both for in-progress rides and after-journey services. The joint supervisory panel consists of the departments of transport, cyberspace administration, industry and information technology, public security, the central bank, taxation and market regulation administration. They have agreed to tighten regulation and vowed to crack down on illegal activities and irregularities such as unlicensed services, privacy leaks and unfair competition. Under the supervision, the ministries are entitled to summon ride-hailing drivers and their platforms for investigation and correction if unlicensed services, information leaks, tax evasion, unfair competition, illegal transactions or other irregularities are reported or observed.
Drivers caught violating the regulation twice or more will have his or her driver's license suspended between three to six months. Other penalties include severe fines and vehicles being impounded. For operators, failing to comply would have their services suspended or be removed from App stores based on relevant laws and regulations. The regulation will take effect on July 1st. China unveiled nationwide regulations for the ride-hailing industry in July 2016, legalizing the industry. In December 2016, Beijing's transport authorities issued regulations that included drivers' household registration, car plates, vehicle models, drivers' age and insurance. Since last May, platforms and drivers without licenses were not allowed to operate in Beijing.