Didi adds vaccination stats to driver profiles in China

By Todd KuhnsPublished on Jan 22, 2021
Didi adds vaccination stats to driver profiles in China

The newest version of Mainland China’s Didi app now indicates whether your assigned driver has received a COVID-19 vaccine.

The feature is present in both Chinese and English versions of the Didi app, only weeks after China began rolling out its version of the vaccine to the general public.

didi nucleic acid test
Didi’s English app displays if the incoming driver has had a nucleic acid test and vaccination for COVID-19

“Features like this give users more confidence that Didi understands their concerns and is prioritizing their safety,” said Todd Kuhns, marketing manager at AppInChina.

Under the current vaccination plan, rideshare drivers are among the 9 categories of “high risk” people who are receiving priority for the first wave of vaccinations:

  • First-line customs inspection and quarantine personnel at ports involved in handling imported cold chain goods
  • Personnel related to loading, unloading, handling and transportation at ports
  • International and domestic transportation practitioners
  • Those working and studying abroad for business and personal reasons
  • Border port staff who face a higher risk of overseas epidemic
  • Medical and health care personnel
  • Government, public security, armed police, fire control, and community workers
  • Personnel related to water, electricity, heating, coal and gas
  • Workers in the transportation, logistics, pension, sanitation, funeral, and communication-related fields.

Just three years ago, Didi’s safety practices came under intense public criticism and government scrutiny after high-profile incidents where two riders were assaulted and killed by their Didi drivers in China.

didi app safety center
A button-press brings up Didi’s “Safety Center”, where users can browse Didi’s safety features.

The vaccination notification is the latest in a wave of safety features that Didi rolled out since the 2018 tragedy, which include automatic audio and video recording of rides, an emergency notification button for users to quickly contact police if they are in danger, and the ability to share ride information with a trusted emergency contact.

Didi has also been working with local municipal authorities on COVID-19 transmission mitigation measures, which can vary from city to city. In Beijing, all passengers must scan a QR code with the Beijing Health Kit app before each ride, to register their trip and show to the driver that they have not visited any high-risk areas in the last 14 days. The measure was implemented this week, and supported by in-app notifications to passengers.

did health kit notification
Splash notification upon opening the Didi app in Beijing reminds user to scan the Health Kit QR code after entering.

The app also notifies users to wear masks during their ride, and that all drivers are required to wear masks as well.

“Especially when you are publishing your app worldwide, it’s important to understand the concerns, anxieties, and expectations of your users in each region,” Kuhns said. “Be sure you are adding the features that address their needs, which may be very different from users in your other markets.”

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