On November 6, Didi Chuxing announced the trial reintroduction of their ride-hailing service, Hitch, in seven major Chinese cities. The P2P-based service was initially put on hold after several passengers and drivers using it were murdered or raped in 2018.
To ensure safety and nurture trust for the relaunched service, Didi introduced several important policy changes, including those regarding nighttime ride-hailing. According to the new rules introduced by the company, female passengers could only use Hitch from 5am to 8pm, while male passengers could use the service until 11pm.
The blatantly discriminatory treatment of female passengers sparked heated discussions and opposition to Didi’s decision, which had not been communicated to or discussed with the public prior to the relaunch of the service.
On November 8, Didi bounced back by releasing a statement, apologizing to users for poor communication and flawed reasoning. The company decided to implement the same curfew for both male and female passengers, banning both from ride-hailing on Hitch after 8pm.
The new version of Didi’s P2P service will make use of advanced risk analysis and alert systems to curb any illegal activity in cars. Didi is also piloting a women’s safety program which is expected to be introduced to other services of the company too.