Didi Chuxing suspends carpool service after woman killed

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The Didi Chuxing logo.
Reuters

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This is the latest instance of violence against Didi passengers

China’s ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has suspended its carpool service after police said a driver raped and killed a female passenger.

A company statement said the incident showed there were deficiencies in its processes, and so it would suspend its Hitch system for re-evaluation.

Authorities said the 20-year-old woman hailed the ride on Friday in the eastern city of Wenzhou.

A similar incident happened just months ago.

In May the company suspended and changed Didi Hitch, which pairs car owners and passengers, after a 21-year-old flight attendant died after using the service in Zhengzhou.

In the latest incident, police said the woman got into the taxi at 13:00 local time (05:00 GMT) and messaged a friend for help an hour later before losing contact.

Authorities detained the 27-year-old driver named Zhong early on Saturday morning, who confessed to raping and murdering his passenger, police said.

The body has been recovered and the investigation is ongoing, the statement said.

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AFP

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Didi Chuxing is the clear market leader in China

Didi Chuxing said Zhong had no previous criminal record, but admitted there had been a previous complaint made against him.

A previous passenger allegedly said the driver had taken them to a remote place and followed them after they left the car.

“The incident shows the many deficiencies with our customer service processes,” Didi’s statement read, saying this was “too high a cost to pay”.

The company also fired the head and vice president of Hitch.

Didi Chuxing is the world’s largest ride-hail company by number of trips, reportedly completing more than one billion journeys in the past three years.

In 2016, US taxi app Uber agreed to sell its local business to Didi after failing to make a profit.

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