Didi suspends carpool service in China after rape and killing of passenger

China's biggest ride-hailing company, Didi Chuxing, is suspending one of its services for the second time th...

Posted: Aug 28, 2018 6:35 PM
Updated: Aug 28, 2018 6:35 PM

China's biggest ride-hailing company, Didi Chuxing, is suspending one of its services for the second time this year after a driver was accused of raping and killing a female passenger.

The company apologized for "disappointing mistakes" and said that two senior managers have been removed from their jobs following the death in the eastern coastal city of Wenzhou on Friday.

It is the second time in four months that Hitch, Didi's carpooling service, has been put on hold following the killing of a female passenger. The latest case fueled renewed outrage on Chinese social media, with users expressing fears about safety.

Police in Wenzhou said they arrested a Didi driver on Saturday morning, who confessed to raping and killing the passenger. The ministries of transport and public security summoned Didi executives for meetings Sunday, demanding a "comprehensive rectification" of the service, China's official news agency, Xinhua, reported.

Didi, one of the biggest startups in the world, drew global attention two years ago when it pushed Uber out of China. It has continued to expand, securing a valuation of $56 billion in December and making plays for more markets around the globe, including Australia and Mexico. Its investors include Apple and Japan's SoftBank.

Didi said in a statement that a complaint had been lodged about the driver the day before Friday's killing, but a customer service representative "failed to follow up with investigation within two hours," which is the company's policy.

The company said it is "deeply sorry" and continues "to work with the police and seek adequate settlement with the family" of the victim.

Messages asking for help

Police said the victim sent messages to one of her friends asking for help before she was killed. She was 20 years old and the suspect is 27, according to state media.

The killing exposed flaws in Didi's process for reporting issues with drivers, according to the company. It said it had removed Hitch's general manager and the vice president for customer services from their positions.

"The incident shows the many deficiencies with our customer service processes, especially the failure to act swiftly on the previous passenger's complaint and the cumbersome and rigid process of information sharing with the police, Didi said.

The driver passed an initial background check because he had no prior criminal record, and he logged on to the Hitch service with an authentic ID the day of the killing, according to the company. He also passed a facial recognition scan, but he "physically altered the appearance of his license plate" before the trip, it added.

The carpooling service, which has done more than 1 billion trips in the past three years, was shut down briefly in May after another female passenger was killed in Zhengzhou, a city in central China. The Didi driver suspected of killing her was later found dead, according to state media.

Didi then relaunched Hitch with some newly added safety features. The service allows passengers to catch rides from registered drivers headed in the same direction.

Hitch is one of a range of different app-based transportation services Didi operates in China, which also include shuttle buses, bike sharing and food delivery. The biggest part of its business is Didi Express, its main ride-hailing service, which dominates in terms of the number of rides.

Didi says it has roughly 550 million users, with around 30 million rides taking place every day through its platform.

-- Nanlin Fang, Angus Watson and Jethro Mullen contributed to this report.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 93556

Reported Deaths: 2810
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6974155
DeSoto541155
Harrison373272
Jackson338867
Madison320886
Rankin319075
Lee260667
Jones242078
Forrest239070
Washington217971
Lafayette208439
Lauderdale1999124
Bolivar179465
Oktibbeha175050
Lamar163134
Neshoba1536103
Panola144027
Sunflower141744
Lowndes139957
Warren138150
Leflore136980
Pontotoc123416
Pike121248
Monroe118865
Scott116425
Copiah116233
Coahoma112327
Holmes109258
Marshall107615
Lincoln106753
Grenada106135
Yazoo103829
Simpson101143
Union97824
Tate95137
Leake93937
Adams91936
Wayne87721
Pearl River86550
Marion84133
Prentiss81117
Covington80522
Alcorn77311
Itawamba76221
Newton75723
Tallahatchie75418
George74913
Winston72419
Tishomingo65837
Chickasaw65524
Tippah64216
Attala64125
Walthall59325
Clay57817
Hancock56121
Jasper55415
Noxubee54315
Clarke53539
Smith52314
Calhoun50612
Tunica47913
Montgomery45520
Claiborne45216
Lawrence42512
Yalobusha41714
Perry40718
Quitman3745
Humphreys37315
Stone35511
Greene34517
Webster33113
Jefferson Davis32511
Carroll31212
Amite31110
Wilkinson30217
Kemper28615
Sharkey26312
Jefferson2429
Benton2191
Franklin1893
Choctaw1795
Issaquena1033
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 131405

Reported Deaths: 2292
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19015337
Mobile13066289
Montgomery8674173
Madison758375
Tuscaloosa7240114
Lee571359
Shelby568450
Baldwin506149
Marshall383543
Etowah335547
Calhoun333839
Morgan319726
Houston270822
Elmore254947
DeKalb235519
St. Clair223435
Walker222680
Talladega206926
Limestone199519
Cullman184517
Dallas174826
Franklin174328
Russell17132
Autauga169024
Lauderdale164633
Colbert160626
Escambia156225
Blount155114
Jackson150611
Chilton148527
Dale133043
Covington130927
Coffee12778
Pike11559
Tallapoosa113683
Chambers113042
Clarke104917
Marion94228
Butler90938
Barbour8357
Winston70912
Marengo69919
Lowndes64827
Pickens63514
Bibb63210
Hale61528
Randolph60812
Bullock58714
Lawrence58520
Monroe5758
Geneva5724
Cherokee56516
Washington54613
Clay5427
Perry5376
Wilcox53111
Conecuh52311
Crenshaw52331
Macon47720
Henry4724
Fayette4219
Sumter41819
Lamar3462
Choctaw34512
Cleburne3236
Greene30015
Coosa1643
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 68°
Columbus
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 68°
Oxford
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 66°
Starkville
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 66°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather