Didi halts Hitch service after 2nd woman killed


SHANGHAI • Didi Chuxing said it will suspend a carpool service and has removed two executives after a second female customer in three months was allegedly killed by a driver in China.

The ride-hailing app company said in an emailed statement yesterday that it will halt its Hitch service starting today and re-evaluate the carpool operation’s business model.

Didi has removed Huang Jieli as Hitch’s GM and Huang Jinhong as VP for customer services.

A driver in the eastern city of Wenzhou suspected of killing a female passenger on Aug 24 has been detained, Chinese state media reported.

Didi came under intense scrutiny in May, when state media reported a driver used his father’s account to pick up and kill a woman in the central city of Zhengzhou.

Didi apologised for the latest incident and said it would upgrade its processes for handling complaints. The Hitch service, which the company said handled one billion trips over the past three years, was being suspended “because of our disappointing mistakes”.

“Growth of our service scale puts our safety management mechanisms under huge pressure, especially in terms of identifying potential risks, designing effective and efficient processes, and rapid response,” Didi said. “We take to our heart all criticisms from the public and the relevant authorities.”

The company said the suspect in the second alleged killing provided full documentation, and had no criminal record.