murdered by their drivers in the past three months, Didi Chuxing, China’s leading ride-hailing service, is making yet more changes, promising (once again) a new commitment towards safety.n the wake of two female passengers being
Starting on Saturday (Sept 8th), Didi will be suspending all of its services during late-night hours (11pm to 5am) for a week in order to properly overhaul its safety practices.
This overhaul includes upgrading the app’s panic button so that passengers in distress have a way to call the cops or an emergency contact with one click, as well as trying out a feature which will allow passengers to record audio during the duration of their trip. In addition, drivers will receive additional safety training while also undergoing more stringent background checks.
Didi has also pledged to invest 140 million yuan ($20.5 million) in order to expand its customer service team from 5,000 people to 8,000 by the end of the year.
These changes are being made after the company has come under renewed scrutiny following the rape and murder of a 20-year-old woman in Zhejiang province. Late last month, the woman’s Didi driver confessed to the crimes and the company was forced to admit that it had received a disturbing complaint from another passenger about the driver the day before the murder, but had failed to act on the complaint in a timely manner.
Didi has gone through one “safety overhaul” already this year after a 21-year-old flight attendant was murdered by her driver in Zhengzhou after using Didi’s Hitch function, but the company’s founder Cheng Wei has vowed that this time will be different.
This week, Cheng told Ministry of Transport officials that Didi “lacked experience” in running such a large-scale ride-hailing service and had focused too much on expansion, straying from regarding safety as the company’s “bottom line.”