China’s ride hailing app suspend services after a passenger was raped and killed

August 27, 2018

China’s largest ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing is suspending its Hitch services nationwide, the company said in a statement on Sunday, a day after police said a passenger in the eastern Chinese city of Wenzhou was raped and killed by a driver.

Didi Chuxing, the biggest ride-sharing firm globally by number of trips, said it was sorry that the carpooling service would be suspended for now due to “disappointing mistakes” while the company reevaluated the product’s business model.

The suspected murder of a 20-year-old woman, who Wenzhou police identified only with the surname Zhao, is the latest in a series of violent crimes that have fueled safety concerns about the service.

Zhao got into a Hitch carpool vehicle at 1pm (0500 GMT) on Friday, and sent a message to a friend at around 2 p.m. seeking help before losing contact, according to a local police statement.

A 27-year-old driver named Zhong was detained at about 4am on Saturday and confessed to raping and killing the passenger, the local police statement said, adding that the victim’s body had been recovered and an investigation was continuing.

Didi said on Sunday that the suspect had no prior criminal record, had provided authentic documentation and passed a facial recognition test before starting work.

The Hitch carpool service has run over 1 billion trips in the past three years, the company said