With the influx of more and more drivers into the ride-hailing platform, some popular passenger distribution centers such as airports, railway stations, and scenic spots in China have become "must-fight places" for ride-hailing drivers. When faced with a large number of "explosive orders", some ride-hailing drivers will use the platform's regulatory blind zone to "cheat" in order to obtain the "priority" of queuing to pick up customers in order to be able to receive long-distance "large orders" first; And when the passenger flow is relatively small, some drivers will even use "tricks" on peers in order not to "run for nothing". "For example, send a 'fake order' to the peer at the top of the queue, wait for the order to be taken and then cancel, so that the other party will fall out of the sequence of waiting in line." A driver said.

However, the final result of this practice of "issuing fake orders" is often "losing both". As the supervision of ride-hailing platforms continues to increase, and the relevant driver waiting mechanism is adjusted, drivers who make a living by running online ride-hailing vehicles also begin to realize that "issuing fake orders" is harmful and not beneficial, and this behavior is gradually decreasing and becoming a "thing of the past". The reporter recently conducted an investigation and interview on this.

Text, photo/Guangzhou Daily all-media reporter Zhang Dan

Take the "big order" to complete the "KPI"

Popular passenger hubs become "must-compete places" for online ride-hailing

At the ride-hailing waiting point at an airport, the "pick-up mode" began at about 7 p.m., and as the flights arrived one by one, passengers rushed out, and a ride-hailing bus should come at the designated waiting point of the terminal.

"Today's pick-up is relatively early, generally speaking, it is only after 8 pm." Master Huang, a ride-hailing driver, opened the chatterbox as soon as the reporter stepped into his car.

With Master Huang's "drop" sweeping to the payment code of the parking lot, the parking fee of 40 yuan has become one of his "costs" for waiting for the car, if this order does not earn at least 40 yuan, even if the labor and time costs are removed, his business has become an "expense".

Therefore, popular passenger distribution centers such as many airports, railway stations, and scenic spots in China have become potential "large" gathering places for ride-hailing drivers, and have also become "must-fight places" in the ride-hailing industry.

"Parking fees are now more expensive, often 15 yuan an hour, so even if we know that there will be a ticket, we dare not enter the parking lot too early to wait for customers." Master Huang said that he usually comes to these popular passenger hubs two or three hours in advance to stop and wait for orders, striving to receive one or two "big orders", so as to basically complete the "KPI" set for himself that day.

He introduced that in the past two years, more and more drivers have entered the ride-hailing industry, and the ride-hailing market has been basically "saturated", so his income has also declined, even if he also receives a "big order" from a popular passenger distribution center, the previous income can reach about 700 yuan a day, and now it is only about 500 yuan at most.

Master Huang introduced that receiving "big orders" is different from short-distance "small orders", and it also requires certain skills. "For example, what time do you go to these places every day to start queuing, where to park after you get to the parking lot, it will be relatively easy to receive an order, and after what time every day, there is basically no order."

Online "queues" are busy

There are drivers who pre-set passenger "destinations" to take orders

Unlike taxi drivers waiting in line on site, ride-hailing drivers "queue" online at popular passenger hubs. "When the 'burst order' starts, not only do passengers have to queue for the bus, but also the ride-hailing drivers have to queue up for passengers." Master Huang told reporters that the order of online queuing has become a key factor in whether you can grab orders in the "big order" gathering place.

Master Huang said that another important factor in grabbing the order is the number of drivers in the "queue" of drivers. He explained that because in a certain ride-hailing platform, the driver can set the "destination" in advance, after arriving at the waiting point, the driver will set up some distant areas as the "destination", once a passenger places an order at the same destination as the driver, the ride-hailing car will enter the "queue" of the destination to queue, and the top driver can naturally take the order first.

Therefore, there is an unwritten "rule" among ride-hailing drivers - the "destination" you set yourself will not be shared with other drivers. He told reporters that if you let your peers know your "destination", and the other party happens to be at the bottom of the same "queue", maybe it will send you a "fake order" and make you fall out of the "line".

"Fake slips" for yourself or peers

Under vicious competition, both sides are often "defeated"

"'Fake orders' were originally sent to themselves, because the platform had some reward mechanism at that time." Huige, a ride-hailing driver, introduced the origin of "issuing fake orders": in the early stage of the development of online ride-hailing platforms, in order to encourage drivers to receive more orders every day, a certain reward mechanism will generally be set up in a certain "node order", such as when the ride-hailing driver runs to "20 orders", a certain reward will be set to the driver, so some drivers will use another mobile phone number to "send fake orders" to themselves to make up the number of rewards to get rewards.

With the increasing number of ride-hailing, the market share of passengers is basically fixed, and the "rewards" given by the platform to drivers are becoming less and less, so the practice of "issuing fake orders" to themselves in order to rush the "node order" is slowly not feasible; However, as more ride-hailing drivers join the competition for pick-up at popular passenger hubs, some ride-hailing drivers have begun to "issue fake tickets" to their peers.

Master Huang explained that in the "queuing" mechanism of popular passenger distribution centers, if the driver receives two cancelled orders, he will "fall" out of the queue. "For example, a driver team of nearly 800 people can generally receive orders in the position before 100 to 150, but if you take two orders and are canceled, the system will make you drop to nearly 800, and the drivers who were originally behind 150 will be added to the front."

"In fact, if there are so many drivers, if only one or two make it bad, the impact on the 'big team' will not be great, but if everyone 'sends fake tickets' to each other, it will be difficult to carry out the work." Master Huang said that if the "fake order" just arrives at a ride-hailing driver who has been waiting for a long time in a popular passenger distribution center, the other party will most likely "admit that it is unlucky" and leave empty; However, if the "fake order" is sent to a ride-hailing driver who has been waiting for a pick-up in a popular passenger distribution center for a long time, it is likely to cause a "dispute".

Master Wang, a ride-hailing driver, said that as long as the ride-hailing driver receives the order in the popular passenger distribution center, almost all know the term "issuing fake tickets". He believes that the main reason for the "fake orders" between peers is that there are many ride-hailing drivers in the off-season, and there are fewer passengers taking ride-hailing cars, and the drivers at the back of the queue may wait for a long time but not a single passenger arrives, and have no choice but to "issue fake slips" to peers so that they can receive orders and not "run for nothing". However, once the vicious circle of "issuing fake orders" occurs, the result is often "both lose", and in the end, the driver at the front continues to "fall behind", and the driver who was originally behind will be "squeezed" out by peers in the same way after the position is advanced.

Virtual positioning, virtual number "fueling the wave"

It is difficult for drivers to receive "real orders" and passenger cars are also affected

"Have you found that sometimes you are obviously ordering underground for a popular passenger, but the driver who receives the order drives more than ten kilometers away?" Master Huang told reporters that this kind of order is often the driver uses a mobile phone number to "dump positioning" and "set" his location in the popular passenger distribution center for "queuing", but in fact, the driver has another mobile phone number used to receive orders on other ride-hailing platforms. He introduced that there are still some "virtual positioning" software on the network, which allows individual drivers to have more "choices" when receiving orders or "issuing fake orders", and also increases the difficulty of the platform's supervision of drivers. For example, if the driver is obviously in other places, how can he issue a "fake ticket" to his peers? It can be achieved with only a "flick positioning" software.

In addition, because some ride-hailing drivers will take orders on multiple platforms, it has also "spawned" relevant "studios" that provide virtual numbers to receive orders, indirectly promoting the phenomenon of "issuing fake orders".

Master Wang said that some ride-hailing drivers have laptops in their cars, and they can use virtual numbers to place dozens of "fake orders" in an hour, which affects peers and causes some passengers with actual taxi needs to not be able to get a taxi. "From the perspective of the driver who receives the order, some destinations are also real, and it is difficult to distinguish whether the receipt is real or fake."

Supervision has been strengthened

The phenomenon of "issuing fake orders" has been reduced

In response to the phenomenon of "issuing fake orders" by drivers of online ride-hailing in some popular passenger distribution centers, insiders in a ride-hailing platform reported that the platform would restrict drivers from setting the "super smooth road" function to avoid drivers picking orders and affecting the order of queuing. "Drivers who have been verified and confirmed to be cheating will also be deducted points or suspended from service for different types of cheating in strict accordance with the rules of the platform."

Over time, more and more ride-hailing drivers also realized that "issuing fake orders" would only make everyone unable to receive orders in the end, and slowly abandoned this practice after some reflection. Master Huang told reporters that today's ride-hailing drivers who run "big orders" in popular passenger distribution centers will basically abide by the "rules", do not "issue fake orders" to their peers, and whether they can receive "big orders" depends on luck.

"The platform is also very strictly regulated now, and once discovered, it has a great impact on drivers." Master Huang said that for example, some of the more "low-level" "issuing fake orders" behavior, through the positioning of the platform, it can be found that the location of the order and the driver's location are only a few meters or even coincide, which will naturally be recognized by the platform, which in turn affects the credibility of the driver's account, thereby affecting its income. "Taking my level as an example, once I am 'downgraded' by the platform, I will lose at least two or three thousand yuan in revenue a month."

He explained that as long as the driver is a driver who makes a living from running online ride-hailing, he will still pay great attention to his credibility on the platform, and through the platform's big data algorithm, the higher the driver's credibility level, the greater the chance of receiving a "big order", and the higher the probability of matching high-quality passengers.

He told reporters that key areas such as airports and railway stations, which used to have more "fake orders", have also undergone new changes. Nowadays, ride-hailing drivers can no longer pre-set "destinations" in these areas, and the "super smooth road" function has been restricted, and can only accept orders randomly sent by the platform, and the orders are naturally random. "If the order is within 22 kilometers, and the driver returns here to receive the order after sending the passenger, the system will also rank it in a relatively high position in the queue, which can be regarded as 'compensating' the driver's previous 'small order'." In addition, he said, the platform will give ride-hailing drivers with higher reputation levels and better evaluations a certain "priority" in receiving orders, which also makes ride-hailing drivers pay more attention to their credibility.

Master Huang said that after the supervision is increased, many drivers may not drive empty to wait for "big orders" like him, but only wait for a "return order" when they just receive an order to go to these popular passenger distribution centers. "At that time, I am afraid that there will be no drivers to 'issue fake tickets' anymore."

China's ride-hailing history:

Since the rise of China's ride-hailing industry in 2010, it has been adjusted many times:

In May 2010, Yitou was established in Beijing, taking the lead in launching the "special car" service.

In 2012, Didi taxi and Kuaidi taxi were officially launched.

In 2014, Uber officially entered the Chinese market.

In 2015, Didi Dache and Kuaidi Taxi announced the merger, and Didi Chuxing launched its hitchhiker business; Shouqi car is online, and Cao Cao car is online.

In July 2016, the Interim Measures for the Administration of Online Taxi Booking Business Services were promulgated, affirming the legal status of online car hailing. In August of the same year, Didi Chuxing acquired Uber.

Since 2017, the ride-hailing industry has entered a period of rapid development, the process of compliance has accelerated, platforms have actively cooperated with supervision, and safety standards have become an important evaluation factor.

In 2018, Dida launched taxi services in many cities and upgraded to "Dida Travel". In April of the same year, Meituan Taxi landed in Shanghai, AutoNavi launched its hitchhiker business, and the aggregation model began to appear in the ride-hailing market. This model integrates multiple platforms or service providers to provide consumers with richer and more convenient travel options. Under the aggregation platform model, some ride-hailing platforms and ride-hailing operation and management enterprises without scale see new development opportunities.

Guangzhou Daily, October 2023, 10, 26th edition