Didi Chuxing had suspended their service "Didi Hitch" for a week in order review and improve safety measures following the murder of a passenger using their service last week. The company announced there will now be mandatory facial-recognition scanning for all drivers before they pick up any fares. This is to help ensure only the registered Didi driver is accessing the app. In the city of Zhengzhou, a Chinese man stole his father's phone, logged onto the Didi app and proceeded to pick up a Ms.Li, a 21 year old flight attendant from the airport whom had booked a ride on the Hitch platform. The man then allegedly raped then stabbed Ms.Li to death.
The suspect's body was found later in a nearby river. According to reports, the facial recognition feature had failed which allowed the user's son to log onto his father's account. Didi had assumed all responsibility and claimed to be at fault since the facial recognition had failed. When Hitch returns to service, the will also no longer be offered between 10pm to 6am. The company is also removing all personalized tags and profile features to help ensure passenger privacy.
In Didi's blog post, "we plead for our valued drivers, car-owners and passengers to join us in helping make the service safer for all." All of Didi's new safety protocols will be in place by the end of the month. Didi had also expressed the potential of a recording feature which would give users the option to activate an in-app recording device in order to "obtain evidence in case of disputes." They are also poised to update its app to include a sort of "panic button," which would enable real-time monitoring of in-car conversations with Didi's customer service staff and automatically share trip information with a user's emergency contacts. In May 2016, another Didi driver was suspected in the death of a passenger in southern China.