China now halts car­pool ser­vices on safety fears

Business Daily (Kenya) - - LIFE: HEALTH -

China has or­dered the sus­pen­sion of car­pool ser­vices of­fered by ride-hail­ing firms un­til tighter safety mea­sures are im­ple­mented, seek­ing to ease fears af­ter two users of sec­tor leader Didi Chux­ing’s Hitch ser­vice were mur­dered.

Lo­cal govern­ments were or­dered to re­view the back­grounds and qual­i­fi­ca­tions of all driv­ers signed up with web-based car­pool­ing and other pri­vate car-share ser­vices.

Driv­ers and cars deemed un­qual­i­fied will be re­moved from such ser­vices by the end of this year, said a joint di­rec­tive by the trans­port and pub­lic se­cu­rity min­istries.

Ser­vice op­er­a­tors in the mean­time must take a range of safety mea­sures in­clud­ing strength­en­ing alarm and rapid-re­sponse mech­a­nisms to en­able pas­sen­gers to in­di­cate when they are in dan­ger.

They also will be re­quired to es­tab­lish 24-hour safety man­age­ment and emer­gency re­sponse teams, and must fur­nish real-time in­for­ma­tion on driv­ers and pas­sen­gers to po­lice. It did not spec­ify how long the sus­pen­sion would last.

Car-pool­ing ser­vices such as Hitch pair up peo­ple mov­ing in the same di­rec­tion so they can share trav­el­ling costs.

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