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Didi passenger's murder prompts weeklong suspension

Chinese ride-hailing service promises overhaul as outrage and safety fears erupt

The murder of a passenger by a Didi driver triggered outrage from Chinese netizens, who expressed fears for their safety.   © Reuters

CHONGQING -- Chinese ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing suspended its carpooling service Saturday for a week following the murder of a passenger by one of its drivers.

A 21-year-old flight attendant who used the Hitch carpooling service in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, was killed by her driver on May 6, according to Chinese media. The presumed killer, 26, was found dead in a river by police on Saturday.

The incident has exploded on Chinese social media. The driver illicitly used his father's account, which had gone through Didi's vetting process. The Chinese company usually verifies the identity of its drivers through a facial recognition system, which apparently was not functioning that day.

Furthermore, it was found that a sexual harassment complaint was previously filed against the driver's account but not followed up by Didi.

Didi issued an apology to the victim's family and said it will work to improve its service during the weeklong suspension. The ride-hailer says the overhaul will include reviewing its driver verification system.

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