Chinese netizens call for Didi to launch effective security measures

The headquarters of DiDi in Beijing Photo: VCG

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Chinese netizens said effective supporting security measures are more important than limited service times after Didi Chuxing, China‘s biggest ride-hailing company, adjusted its relaunched Didi Hitch for both male and female users to 5 am to 8 pm.

Didi made the decision on Thursday evening after the company was accused of “imposing a curfew on women” due to its announcement on Wednesday that Hitch would be available to men from 5 am to 11 pm and women from 5 am to 8 pm.

A Didi spokesperson told the Global Times on Friday that the company made the adjustment on the basis of internal discussions regarding feedback from members of the community.

The spokesperson said records show that sex-related complaints, predominantly from women users, are 45 percent higher for rides taken between 8 pm and 11 pm and 465 percent higher for rides between 11 pm and 5 am, which was a consideration in the original trial operating schedule the company announced.

However, some netizens said that rather than setting limits to Hitch‘s service times, Didi should launch more effective supporting measures to guarantee its users‘ security.

Adjusting the time somehow indicated the company is trying to shrink from their responsibility, a netizen said.

Didi said on its official website on Wednesday that the company is piloting a women‘s safety program with Hitch.

Key features of the program would include enhanced risk analysis, alerts and intervention models that identify high-risk scenarios and trip anomalies with effective intervention, according to Didi.

The program includes “a new in-app Safety Assistant that shows more detailed information on drivers and passengers, and offers real-time support from safety specialists.”

Some Net users also expressed support for Didi after the company announced it was setting the service time to between 5 am to 8 pm for everybody, as the company listened to public advices and made timely adjustment. 

“We want both security and convenience and I can see this is what Didi is trying to do,” a netizen said on Weibo.

“Didi should keep improving its service in the face of people‘s criticisms to achieve long-term development in the Chinese market,” another said.

Didi Hitch is a lower-cost service that links private car owners and commuters heading in the same direction so that they can share the cost of their scheduled trips. 

In August 2018, Didi Chuxing suspended its Hitch service following two separate murders of female passengers by Didi drivers.


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