Nearly 100 drivers for T3 Travel, a Chinese ride-hailing platform, have reportedly gathered at the company’s office in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, asking the firm to return their vehicles.
The complaints focused on two points. First, the rental cost of self-operated cars of T3 Travel in Nanchang has reached 3,900 yuan ($585), which is much higher than that of other platforms, and even higher than that in first-tier cities under T3 Travel. Second, operational problems of T3 Travel in Nanchang have caused the continuous loss of users, leading to a decline in order volume.
According to a report by iFeng on Tuesday, T3 Travel denied the incident in Nanchang, saying that the platform attached great importance to listening to drivers’ voices, and successively introduced measures to support them in various ways during the pandemic.
T3 Travel was officially launched on July 22, 2019. According to an open letter from firm CEO Cui Dayong on April 29 this year, the market share of T3 Travel has exceeded 11%, and its daily orders have exceeded 3 million. Cui also wrote that the company expects to acquire a 30% market share over the next three years. On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that T3 Travel is seeking to raise at least 5 billion yuan in its latest round of financing. The company denied to comment on the matter.
Cui has publicly promised that drivers of T3 Travel have a basic salary, commission, reward, subsidy and social security. However, according to the statement of T3 Travel’s drivers, there is not only no basic salary and social security, but also no employment contract directly signed with T3 Travel.
Moreover, if drivers use the company’s vehicle, they can only pick up orders automatically dispatched by T3 Travel’s platform.
In the early stages, the company signed employment contracts directly with drivers. Now, drivers need to sign a contract with a third-party operating company. Since the second half of 2021, in order to seize market opportunities, T3 Travel began to carry out structural adjustments. It reduced the number of drivers directly operated by the platform, and increased the introduction of freelance drivers, which has led to constant conflicts between drivers and the platform.
From 2019 to 2022, drivers’ strikes took place in Suzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing and other Chinese cities. The reasons behind these incidents were the drastic adjustment of T3 Travel’s operations strategy and the reduction of drivers’ salaries.