NPC deputy suggests tighter regulation of van-hailing and courier services
Published: Mar 07, 2021 11:21 AM
A Huolala van Photo: CFP

A Huolala van Photo: CFP

NPC deputy Li Zhiqiang, who is a deputy director general of Shanxi provincial administration for market regulation, submitted recommendations on increasing efforts to regulate online van-hailing and courier services at the ongoing Two Sessions in Beijing.

The online van-hailing, transport and courier service sector has seen rapid growth, which has been welcomed by consumers for its efficiency and convenience. However, the death of a 23-year-old woman after her jumping out the window of a moving freight van in February aroused continuous attention from the public and supervisory bodies toward the industry. 

Li raised four major problems in the sector based on his investigation and survey. The first is that fee-charging regime is obscure, leaving room for random price-gouging. The second problem is that consumers' rights are frequently violated, including orders are canceled without prior notice, delivered goods are damaged or missing, and many consumers find it difficult to defend their rights.

The security guarantee system of the services is substandard, and some drivers also often carry passengers, violating regulations. Van drivers can easily register on online platforms but it's hard to withdraw, as the platforms can refuse to return deposits and maliciously fine drivers.    

Li noted that the current rules and regulations to supervise online van-hailing platforms are too generalized and lack legal enforcement, and the imperative now is to outline legal regulations for the sectors, including clarifying the legal responsibilities between van drivers and customers, and conducting license management on all platform operators and drivers too. 

The qualification examination for registered van-drivers should be enhanced. Platforms should set up a security warning system and closely monitor drivers and consumers during trips to guarantee passenger safety. 

Global Times