Didi Vows to Improve Drivers’ Pay, Users’ Fares After Criticism

Didi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-hailing company, vowed to improve its payment structure for drivers and fares for users as it responded to media criticism and increased government scrutiny of dominant tech companies.

Drivers on Didi’s ride-sharing network on average earn 79% of what customers pay, it said in a statement on Friday. The company took a 30%-plus cut of 2.7% of the trips on its platform and said it would “try our best to prevent these extreme cases from happening.”

The pledge came after criticism from the public and in the state media about Didi’s dominance of the country’s ride-sharing space. The official news agency Xinhua asked in a commentary this week why the company’s users are paying more fares and drivers are making less, calling on regulators to look into the platform’s pricing mechanisms.

“Our platform is huge, but our capability is not enough,” Didi said in the statement. “We still have a long way to go to ensure passengers can afford rides and drivers can enjoy steady growth in their incomes.” The company said it welcomes criticism and supervision from the public.

Didi’s ride-railing business has turned profitable, with a net margin of 3.1% for 2020, according to the statement.

The company has filed confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering that could raise several billion dollars, Bloomberg News reported in April. Didi, the Chinese version of Uber Technologies Inc., acquired its U.S. rival’s China business in 2016.

The SoftBank Group Corp.-backed company is stepping up efforts to increase its presence in strategically important sectors like autonomous driving and technologies including artificial intelligence chips.

Didi is among a slew of Chinese tech giants that are under increasing scrutiny from President Xi Jinping’s government. Beijing kicked off its crackdown on so-called platform companies late last year, seeking to root out monopolistic behavior on the internet. Didi, Tencent Holdings Ltd.. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. had to pay fines for not seeking government approval for previous deals.

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