Didi Relaunches 'Hitch' Service One Year after Brutal Murders

By Tristin Zhang, November 8, 2019

0 0

Didi Chuxing will start a trial run of its updated ride-sharing service ‘Hitch.’ The popular app function was suspended in August 2018 after two female passengers were murdered while using it. 

The Chinese ride-hailing giant announced that, starting from November 20, the new Hitch service will be tested in seven Chinese cities including Harbin, Taiyuan, Shijiazhuang, Chanzhou, Shenyang, Beijng and Nantong (the latter three cities will begin testing on November 29). 

The trial relaunch of Hitch will come with enhanced safety features and a now-canceled women’s safety program. “The trial starts with trips under 50 kilometers in metro areas between 5am and 8pm for female users, and 5am and 11pm for male users. Service fees will be waived during the trial operation,” the announcement says. However, after receiving criticism from its users, Didi quickly changed this time policy, now allowing all passengers to use the ride-sharing service from 5am to 8pm. 

Furthermore, to improve safety and user experience during a Hitch ride, Didi will include measures like ID and facial verification, background checks on drivers by local public security bureaus, real-time location sharing with a friend or family member, a dedicated 24/7 safety line, as well as examining drivers’ social credit scores prior to partnering with Didi. Users’ picture and gender will no longer be displayed in order to protect their privacy. If an unusually long stop is detected, the app will automatically notify passengers’ emergency contact. 

READ MORE: Didi Fires 300,000 Drivers After Multiple Murders Last Year

A ‘female safety assistant’ will be available in the Hitch function, allowing women to check their Didi driver’s age, driving experience and the driver’s face to ensure it’s their real Didi driver. A ‘behavior score’ will also be administered for drivers to rate passengers’ behavior based on factors such as ‘agreement honoring,’ ‘rule following,’ ‘tidiness’ and ‘friendliness.’ Passengers with low behavior scores will have a more difficult time getting a Hitch ride. 

Didi Chuxing’s ride-sharing service became a popular mobility function when it was first introduced in 2015. Apart from ride-sharing in Chinese cities, the app also allows drivers and passengers to connect for long-haul intercity journeys. After the murders of passengers by Didi drivers during Hitch rides, the mobility enterprise has taken various measures to ensure users’ safety, adding a panic button, audio recording and an emergency contact to its app. 

But it’s important to note that Didi drivers are also susceptible to heinous crimes. Last December, a Didi driver in Guizhou province was robbed and murdered after being held at knifepoint. His body was later found in a river outside of Guiyang.

READ MORE: Didi Driver Sentenced to Death for Murdering Shenzhen Teacher

[Cover image via Sina

more news

Here's How to Track the Latest Updates on China's Novel Coronavirus

DXY.cn offers a real-time feed of the coronavirus case count as well as the latest updates

2020 Spring Festival Gala Livestream: How to Watch Online in China

Before the Year of the Rat begins, China will celebrate the end of the year with the 37th Spring Festival Gala, referred to as Chunwan.

China Plans to Phase Out Single-Use Plastics by 2025

China is not messing around when it comes to reducing its plastic pollution problem.

Your Ultimate Guide to Avoiding the New Coronavirus in China

We took to the good ol’ World Wide Web to see what precautions experts are recommending to avoid catching the disease.

China Releases Ambitious Space Plan for 2020

Beijing has made space exploration a key part in the country’s developmental goals.

New Coronavirus Spreads to Over 130 in China, Death Toll Rises

The latest notice by the Wuhan Health Commission says that among the patients, 66 are male and 70 are female, ranging from 25 to 89 years old.

9 Things to Expect During Spring Festival in China

Staying in China for CNY? Here's what to expect.

One Confirmed Dead in China’s Pneumonia Outbreak

The deceased patient, a 61-year-old man, died on Thursday night of severe pneumonia.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.