Didi Chuxing toughen rules, drivers will pick up same-sex passengers at dawn
Didi limited the hours of car-sharing service from 6 am to 10 pm and took other measures.
Didi Chuxing said on Wednesday that its drivers will only be able to pick up same-sex passengers at dawn and late in the evening in an effort to regain confidence after the murder of a passenger earlier this year.
After the murder, which was widely reported and discussed on social networks, Didi limited the hours of car-sharing service from 6 am to 10 pm and took other measures. With the new policy taking effect on June 15, Didi decided to extend the service hours from 5 am to midnight.
But between 5 am and 6 am and between 10 pm and midnight, drivers of the shuttle service will only be able to pick up passengers of the same sex, Didi said in the statement.
The moves followed the May 21 murder of a flight attendant as she traveled from an airport hotel to the center of Zhengzhou, allegedly by her driver Didi who bypassed the application's security controls.
As part of the new measures, Didi said on Wednesday it plans to test the "escort mode" in the application in a small-scale pilot program starting June 22. With the escort mode open in the Didi application, passengers can share their routes and destinations with their emergency contacts.
The racing-sharing company has asked for an apology in May for the passenger's death. Didi said at the time that her facial recognition mechanism was defective and could not verify the driver who allegedly killed the passenger.
The male suspect used a driver account that belonged to his father, contrary to company policy, told Didi at the time.
Didi Chuxing - which is valued at USD 50 billion and has SoftBank Group Corp as a major investor - is expanding heavily overseas, targeting new markets in Mexico, Brazil, and Australia, where it will compete directly with Uber.