Beijing-based DiDi Chuxing is expanding its efforts to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus on China’s transportation system, according to an announcement from the mobility platform last week. DiDi offers a full range of app-based transportation services in Asia, Latin America and Australia, serving 550 million users and providing 10 billion passenger trips per year.
The company has organized a regional, cross-industry initiative that includes car-leasing firms, insurance companies and financiers. The effort began in the Hubei province, the epicenter of the coronavirus, and is being expanded to other parts of China as DiDi and its volunteer drivers organize free transportation for more than 20,000 doctors and nurses in Beijing, Nanjing, Ningbo, Shanghai, Wuhan and Xiamen.
Additionally, DiDi has launched a coronavirus-specific insurance program that includes special medical emergency allowances for its drivers. The program includes a daily allowance of up to 300 Chinese Yuan (CNY) per day, up to 30,000 CNY total, for any DiDi taxi or ride-hailing driver hospitalized for coronavirus. Also, a special fund, up to 500,000 CNY, will be made available for “special cases,” the company said in the release.
Under the initiative, the Chinese ride-hailing giant is extending February lease payments for its drivers and waiving the February fee for drivers using rental vehicles. Meanwhile, more than 20 financial institutions — including captives of Dongfeng Motors, BAIC Group, China Merchants Bank and China Zheshang Bank — have introduced loan extension, liquidity lending and lease adjustment programs to assist DiDi’s car-leasing partners. Auto insurers are also in the fold, with 38 DiDi insurance partners committing to extending coverage for leased vehicles to help leasing firms reduce operating costs.
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