BEIJING (Reuters) - A ride-sharing passenger in the eastern Chinese city of Wenzhou was raped and killed by a driver for China’s largest ride-hailing firm, local police said on Saturday, the latest violent crime to fuel safety concerns about the service.
Didi Chuxing, the biggest ride-sharing firm globally by number of trips, was “immensely saddened by the tragedy,” it said in a statement.
“We are deeply sorry. We fell short of your expectations. We can’t and we won’t shirk from our responsibilities,” it said.
Following the incident, Zhejiang province, where Wenzhou is located, ordered Didi to suspend its carpooling service there while the company addressed safety issues, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Didi has been stepping up safety measures including for its carpooling service, Didi Hitch, after the murder of a flight attendant in May sparked wider community outrage.
The steps include limiting Didi Hitch drivers to picking up passengers of the same sex during early morning and late evening hours.
Police in Yueqing city, which is part of Wenzhou, said on their official microblog that the 20-year-old woman, surnamed Zhao, got into a Didi carpool vehicle at 1 p.m. on Friday, and sent a message to a friend at around 2 p.m. seeking help before losing contact.