Technology

Carpool app suspended after woman raped and killed

Chinese ride-hailing firm DiDi Chuxing has suspended its carpool service after the arrest of a driver who allegedly raped and killed a female passenger.

Authorities said the 20-year-old woman hailed a car on Friday in the eastern city of Wenzhou.

The driver admitted to raping and killing the woman and was arrested, police said.

The woman had sent a text message to her friends calling for help after getting into the vehicle in the afternoon.

It comes just three months after another DiDi driver allegedly killed a flight attendant.

The Beijing-based company has apologised, stating it has "inescapable responsibility" for the incident.

Image: DiDi Chuxing's headquarters are based in Beijing

It admitted to receiving a complaint a day earlier from another passenger about the driver, but failed to respond.

The passenger had complained that the driver repeatedly asked her to sit in the front seat before taking them to a remote spot.

He then followed her for a while when she got out of the car, the company said in a statement.

DiDi has fired two of its executives and will suspend its carpooling service Hitch at midnight on Monday.

"Our customer service promises to reply to customers within two hours but we failed and did not carry out an investigation into this complaint in a timely way.

"No matter what reasons we had, we shoulder inescapable responsibility," it said in a statement.

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Founded by Chinese business executive Cheng Wei in 2012, DiDi provides transportation services for 550m users across 400 cities.

Last year, it started to develop an English version of its app and services, and this year it launched its own-branded mobility services in Mexico and Australia.

Original Article

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