Chinese authorities announced a broad crackdown on China's ride-hailing industry on Wednesday, targeting market-leader Didi Chuxing with fines following the deaths of two passengers in separate incidents earlier this year.
China's Ministry of Transport said Didi had violated multiple safety rules, presenting a "major safety hazard", including failing to properly flag high-risk drivers and improperly handling deposits.
"The driver's qualifications and background checks are not in place. The company's management of people and vehicles is out of control," said the ministry in a notice posted on Wednesday morning.
It said it will "severely crack down" on ride-hailing platforms hiring illegal drivers, and will fine Didi's executives and legal representatives an undisclosed amount of money.
The strong rebuke comes after two women were assaulted and killed earlier this year in separate incidents involving drivers using Didi's carpool service, Didi Hitch, drawing widespread criticism of the company on social media.
In one of the incidents, the driver was able to circumvent safety controls on Didi's app to use a relative's account, despite being previously flagged for harassment.