Didi Chuxing's headquarters in Beijing. Photo: AFP
Didi Chuxing's headquarters in Beijing. Photo: AFP

The market for illegal ride-hailing services with vehicles operating under fake registered driver accounts reached 1 billion Chinese yuan, according to an estimation by China’s largest ride-hailing platform.

Didi Chuxing said it would step up efforts to combat the illegal practice, particularly cases involving discrepancies between the information of the vehicles and the drivers, who would be blacklisted on a permanent basis, according to the company’s spokesperson on safety, the Paper reported.

The company is deploying facial recognition technology to make sure three forms of identification, including a valid driver’s license, identity card and vehicle ownership documents, were in line with the platform registration.

It was learned that more than 4.3 million drivers’ faces were automatically scanned daily, and 600,000 of which were further double-checked manually every month.

Yet there were drivers taking risks by using fake accounts, meaning that unauthorized persons were attempting to make money by operating a registered vehicle with which they were not registered.

The reporter reached out to agencies online which claimed to help individuals register on the ride-hailing platform with false or inaccurate information if they were willing to pay an additional fee of 1,000 yuan each to make the driver’s age or the vehicle’s age compliant with Didi’s company policy.

Another agency said it could help with driver registration, but they were not providing information alteration services.

Meanwhile, it was also reported that not all ride-hailing users would report problematic drivers as they could not tell if it was deliberate deceit by the drivers or mistakes by the platform.

The company said it would continue to raise public awareness and encourage commuters to flag any abnormalities before, while, or after their rides.

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