Panic Button Upgrade Coming to Didi in Response to Recent Murders

By Nassir Ali, September 7, 2018

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It’s fair to say that China’s top ride-sharing platform, Didi Chuxing, has seen better days. After two high-profile murders involving Didi drivers, the company has taken a fair bit of flak from both the general public and Chinese government. 

In the wake of the killings – the most recent of which occurred late last month – Didi has unveiled new safety measures, including an improved panic button, according to Nikkei Asian Review

Platform upgrades will be carried out by the company over the coming week. Due to the app upgrades, Didi’s late night car services will be suspended from September 8 to 14. The temporary halt applies to their express, express pool, premier, luxury, reserved and taxi services from 11pm to 5am. 

Once the app updates are completed, Didi passengers will be able to contact police with the click of an in-app icon. By alerting authorities to an emergency through the app, their passenger info will be shared directly to first responders, according to Nikkei Asian Review. Triggering an alert will also contact emergency numbers, making it easier to reach out to close friends and family if a dangerous situation arises. 

Didi Safety Button
Image via Didi

Didi Safety Button
The icon on the left allows you to share your trip with friends, while the icon on the right contacts police. Image via Didi


Image via Didi

Starting tomorrow, September 8, the company will also begin trials on its encrypted sound recorder, which will record audio in the car for the duration of a trip. 

"This will help to protect drivers and passengers while ensuring the recordings are encrypted and stored according to rigorous data protection protocol," said an official from the company, according to CNN.  

In an effort to filter out unscrupulous and dangerous individuals before they get behind the wheel, Didi will also launch stricter background checks for drivers and provided drivers with more safety education. 

Additionally, by the end of 2018, Didi plans to hire roughly 3,000 additional employees to work in their customer service branch, bringing the number of in-house customer service representatives to 8,000. 

UPDATE (September 11, 2018 at 5.05pm CST): This article has been updated to clarify that Didi will have their late night service suspended until September 14. Originally, the company stated the suspension would be carried out until September 15.

[Cover image via Matt Bossons/That's]

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