Didi Chuxing, the largest car hailing company in China, will suspend late-night Taxi, Express, Uber China, Didi Select, Didi Express Pool, Premier and Luxe services between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. from Sept. 8 to 15 as part of their steps to improve safety.
The move is to introduce major safety updates as part of its safety rectification plan, according to an announcement by the company yesterday. Other services, such as Bike-sharing, Designated Driving, Bus, overseas Car Rental and the used-car service will remain operational.
The updates include upgrading the Emergency SOS button to a Call Police directly function, adding a safety center to the Didi passenger app offering quick access to safety functions, introducing a nationwide in-app campaign to encourage users to set up emergency contacts and, understand itinerary sharing, and trialling in-trip audio recording with Didi Express, Didi Premier and other ride-hailing services supported by encryption and data protection measures.
The company will enhance driver education and assessment programs, intensify driver-vehicle compliance, background checks, daily facial recognition and other on-board control measures, and double down on investments in a new customer service system, including building an in-house professional customer service team of 8,000, according to the release.
Didi also said in a statement that it will upgrade its police hotline function for customers.
The firm has been under mounting pressure from regulators and consumers after a 20-year-old passenger was murdered by her Didi driver in August. Another passenger was killed by a driver in May.