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Didi suspends hitch service indefinitely

By Yu Xiaoming | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-09-11 13:26
A Didi Chuxing driver checks the information on the application in his car in Beijing, August 28, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

Didi Chuxing, China's largest online car-hailing platform, will suspend its hitch service indefinitely, the Ministry of Transport said Monday on its official WeChat account.

The Ministry of Transport together with related departments will launch a nationwide safety inspection of ride-hailing platforms including Shouqi Limousine & chauffeurs, Shenzhou Zhuanche, Caocao Zhuanche, Yidao Yongche, and Dida Chuxing, through the end of this year. 

Didi's hitch service will not resume until all hidden dangers are cleared, according to an urgent notice jointly released by the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Public Security.

A background check will be conducted on all drivers engaged in or applying for internet-based car-hailing and ride-sharing services. Drivers and vehicles which are not qualified will be removed by the end of 2018, the notice said.

Meanwhile, businesses will be asked to adopt new technology to forestall risks — facial recognition to examine the identity of drivers and big data to detect hazards, such as deviation from the right path and unreasonable, long stops.

The move came after two female passengers using Didi's hitch service were allegedly murdered by their drivers in three months.

A 20-year-old woman was murdered by her driver on Aug 24 after hailing a car in Yueqing, Zhejiang province. Earlier in May, a 21-year-old flight attendant was raped and murdered by her driver in Zhengzhou, Henan province.

Didi dismissed two senior management officials, suspended its late-night ride-hailing services and has announced several new functions as part of improved safety measures, such as an in-car audio recording function on its app and an upgraded emergency one-click call to the police.

Last week, a team of inspectors from 10 ministries launched a nationwide inspection into Didi. Until now, on-site inspections, data handover and inquiries have been completed, the Ministry of Transport said on Tuesday, adding that the team is conducting analysis and summary now.

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