A leading mobility and ride-hailing app, Didi Chuxing (DiDi), is introducing a new series of COVID-19 relief initiatives to its Latin American and Asia-Pacific markets.
These new measures include organising dedicated fleets for healthcare workers, carrying out national vehicle disinfection programs, installing in-vehicle plastic protective sheets and launching on-demand delivery and courier services.
DiDi, which delivers over 10 billion trips per year globally, became the world’s first major ride-hailing platform to tackle COVID-19 challenges after the outbreak in China in January. A series of emergency response innovations were introduced across China to protect the health and safety of users and drivers, and to support their drivers and communities.
In early January, a special COVID-19 taskforce was created to coordinate the company’s fight against COVID-19 across China, APAC and Latin America. In collaboration with the World Health Organization and regional health authorities, the taskforce took DiDi’s applicable China experience and mobilized the company’s engineering, safety and offline driver organization capabilities across all markets:
Safeguarding the health and safety of users and partners
Hygiene solutions that had proven effective in China are being rolled out across all regions. DiDi Chile and 99, DiDi’s subsidiary in Brazil, began in March to organise regular fleet disinfection through motorised sanitising stations in major cities.
DiDi Latin America is also installing plastic protective sheets to separate driver and passenger seats across its fleet, starting with 20,000 vehicles in Mexico. Widely used by DiDi China during China’s outbreak, this solution aims to minimise the risk of airborne droplet transmission. In February, DiDi also helped to install these protective sheets in airport buses and police patrol vehicles in China.
DiDi Food launched contactless delivery services in Brazil, Mexico and Japan to offer extra protection to couriers and customers.
Hygiene supplies, including over 2 million masks and sanitizers are being shipped to drivers and partners in international markets.
DiDi’s engineering team launched an in-app information hub to provide COVID-19-related resources for users and drivers.
Supporting drivers and communities
Through DiDi Hero, special service fleets dedicated to servicing frontline medical and relief workers, close to 48,000 drivers have signed up to offer 1.5 million free and discounted rides and meals for communities and healthcare workers across Latin America and Australia.
A USD10 million relief fund was created to provide up to 28 days of income to drivers or couriers who have been diagnosed with, or is under mandatory quarantine due to, COVID-19.
The launch of on-demand delivery and courier services in Australia and Latin America will provide additional income opportunities for DiDi driver-partners and couriers, in addition to its food delivery service, to better serve the stay-at-home population in these markets.
Tony Qiu, COO of DiDi International Business Group, said: “Our special task force meets every day to analyze the situation in each market and make sure our responses are tailored to local government requirements and the needs of each community. The health and safety of those who put their trust in us remain the absolute priority.
“Despite the challenges, DiDi China’s experience demonstrates the resilience of the affected cities and what we see as the beginning of a roadmap to a steady and safe recovery. We believe in the strength of these communities and will support them to the best of our capabilities.”
Image credit: DiDi