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Killing Spurs Didi, China’s Ride-Hailing Giant, to Revamp Its Service

May 16, 2018

BEIJING — Didi Chuxing, China’s wildly popular ride-sharing service, said on Wednesday that it would overhaul its app and its safety and security practices, after reports that a passenger had been raped and killed by her driver.

The passenger, Li Mingzhu, 21, a flight attendant, was found dead last Saturday after hailing a ride downtown from the airport in the northern Chinese city of Zhengzhou on May 6, according to state media. Didi Chuxing has faced a widening array of complaints from female passengers in recent days, as nationwide attention has focused on the company in the aftermath of the killing.

Didi Chuxing is similar to Uber, and indeed bought Uber’s business in China nearly two years ago. The Chinese company, which has been expanding at a breakneck pace within the country and around the world, says it has 450 million users. One of China’s most successful tech giants, it is expected to explore making a multibillion-dollar initial public offering this year.

Within China, Didi Chuxing offers several options, including an individual ride-hailing service and a cheaper car-pooling service, called Didi Hitch, which Ms. Li had used. Both drivers and passengers typically upload photographs of themselves to user profiles. In the wake of the killing, Didi Hitch customers raised concerns about drivers’ ability to append notes about them, many of which proved to focus on women’s appearances.