China Ride-Hailing Giant Didi Revamps Service After Passenger will be Killed
BEIJING — Didi Chuxing, China’s wildly common ride-sharing service, said on Wednesday in which in which could overhaul its app along with its safety along with security practices, after reports in which a passenger had been raped along with killed by her driver.
The passenger, Li Mingzhu, 21, a flight attendant, was found dead last Saturday after hailing a ride downtown via the airport inside northern Chinese city of Zhengzhou on May 6, according to state media. Didi Chuxing has faced a widening array of complaints via female passengers in recent days, as nationwide attention has focused on the company inside aftermath of the killing.
Didi Chuxing will be similar to Uber, along with indeed bought Uber’s business in China nearly two years ago. The Chinese company, which has been expanding at a breakneck pace within the country along with around the entire world, says in which has 450 million users. One of China’s most successful tech giants, in which will be required to explore doing a multibillion-dollar initial public offering This specific year.
Within China, Didi Chuxing offers several options, including an individual ride-hailing service along that has a cheaper car-pooling service, called Didi Hitch, which Ms. Li had used. Both drivers along with passengers typically upload photographs of themselves to user profiles. inside wake of the killing, Didi Hitch customers raised concerns about drivers’ ability to append notes about them, many of which proved to focus on women’s appearances.
Su Shiya, 21, a student in southern China, examined her Didi profile along with found in which drivers had tagged her as an “intellectual beauty” along that has a “sweetheart.”
“These comments are open to all the Didi drivers,” she said. “They all know what I look like.” She said she found the comments chilling, along with has since replaced her image with in which of an animated dog.
Didi Chuxing suspended its Hitch service after the killing, along with said on Wednesday in which in which could revamp the service. in which said in which could suspend the ability of drivers to leave personalized tags along with ratings of passengers on Didi Hitch, along with in which all profile pictures of users could be replaced that has a generic image.
Also, the Didi Hitch service will be suspended between 10 p.m. along with 6 a.m. each day, the company said, along with drivers will be required to confirm their identities via facial recognition before each trip. Ms. Li was reportedly killed by a man using his father’s Didi driver account. Days later, the police said they had found the suspect’s body in a river in Zhengzhou.
Drivers for all of Didi Chuxing’s ride-hailing services will also be required to be vetted along with go through a background check, the company added, promising in which all the brand-new measures could be in place by the end of the month.
“We are deeply saddened by along with sorry about the tragedy,” the company said in a statement. “We need to step up to win the trust of our users. Our responsibilities in This specific case are undeniable.”
The case comes amid increased discussion in China over sexual harassment along with women’s safety, part of a fledgling #MeToo movement inside country. A leading university has come in for criticism for apparently trying to silence activism on the issue. Questions have been raised over the use of attractive women by start-ups to calm stressed-out coders. China’s internet censors, ostensibly fearing social unrest, have sought to curtail such criticism.
Didi Chuxing customers sought to call attention to the company’s practices by using the social media hashtag #changedidiprofilepicture on Sina Weibo, a common Chinese microblogging platform. Users uploaded profiles of middle-aged men or animated characters to hide their gender.