At 9 am of December 23, ride-hailing giant Didi officially re-launched its hitch service in five Chinese cities including Beijing and Changsha. The business had been suspended for over a year since August 26, 2018 due to several murder cases.
For users, the process has become more complicated than before and includes several steps such as facial recognition, safety knowledge learning and others. Car owners are now required to submit ID cards, and driving licenses for review, and a new video review of the owner’s certificate is added to prevent forgery. According to Sina Tech, the authentication process for car owners requires so many materials, that most car owners couldn’t completed registration on the first day.
Jean Liu, President of Didi, said before relaunching the service that, for safety reasons, Didi might be making the most difficult carpooling product.
On July 18, DiDi held a press conference focusing on issues concerning its Hitch business, and disclosed its safety rectification measures including 12 systematic upgrades, and 226 optimized functions. On November 20, DiDi Hitch began trial operations in three cities including Harbin, Taiyuan and Changzhou.