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China’s Didi pares back ‘hitchhiking’ car service following passenger murder

Didi Chxuing is making big changes to Hitch, its inter-city carpooling service, following the murder of a passenger at the hands of a driver earlier this month. Last week, Didi — China’s dominant ride-hailing service by some margin — expressed its “deep remorse” for the murder, and  suspended Hitch for a week to conduct a review of the service . Hitch, as the name suggests, is a hitchhiking-style service that groups people who are headed in the same direction together. Unlike Didi’s other services, it isn’t commercial; passengers give the driver their share of fuel and any other costs they want to cover. That makes it affordable and hugely popular , but it has also made the service less professional than Didi’s other modes of transport. Indeed, many in China have claimed the service is ‘sleazy,’ with many comments left about passenger appearances, particularly those who are female. The primary change will see Hitch available limited to daytime when the service resumes, with no new rides able to start between the hours of 10pm and 6am. In an apparent nod to the unsavory elements, Didi is scrubbing all Hitch driver and passenger reviews and ratings. Personal information for users will no longer be public, and profile photos will be replaced by generic images, Didi said. Beyond Hitch, Didi is also making changes to its driver authentication program. That’s down, in a large part, to the fact that the suspect in the murder of the passenger was not a verified Didi driver

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China’s Didi pares back ‘hitchhiking’ car service following passenger murder

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