Chinese transport authority summons online freight platforms to protect drivers’ rights
Published: Jan 21, 2022 09:00 PM
A Huolala van Photo: CFP

A Huolala van Photo: CFP

The Ministry of Transport in China summoned four online freight platform companies, including on-demand delivery service provider Huolala and Didi Freight, and required them to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of drivers.

It's the latest measure to supervise the industry for a healthy development.

The ministry said on its official WeChat account on Friday that the truck drivers have been complaining that the platforms randomly adjust pricing rules and increase membership fees, which have induced vicious low-price competition.

Such moves are suspected of infringing on the legitimate rights and interests of drivers, causing widespread dissatisfaction among truck drivers and broad social concern, the ministry said. 

The ministry required the platforms to guarantee reasonable payment and rest time for drivers, and smooth the feedback channel and respond to reasonable demands in a timely manner.

All platform companies must adhere to fair competition, the ministry said, adding that when formulating or adjusting pricing rules, income distribution rules, and membership fees, they must publicly solicit the opinions of drivers and industry associations. 

The ministry also reminded four other online car-hailing platforms such as Didi and Meituan of such issues. 

The Chinese government has taken different measures to safeguard workers' rights and further strengthen anti-monopoly regulations in the new service industry.

On Friday, the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Security, together with other departments, directed 11 online platforms including Meituan, Alibaba and Huolala to strengthen the supervision of labor cooperative enterprises to protect the rights and interests of workers, and continue to improve the platform algorithm and labor rules.

In November last year, China announced new rules guiding ride-hailing platforms to set an upper limit on commissions taken from drivers.
The rules, announced by the Ministry of Transport and eight other government agencies, ordered online car-hailing platforms to announce pricing and income distribution rules, set reasonable limits on commissions, and inform the driver of the commissions after each order.

China's Ministry of Transport and other regulatory authorities directed 10 online transportation platforms including Didi and Huolala to rectify their operational problems immediately in a regulatory meeting in May last year. 

Based on reports collected by the regulators, the problems of online ride-hailing platforms mainly range from taking a high cut from the transaction, lacking transparency in distribution mechanisms and arbitrarily adjusting pricing policies.

Global Times