- Reuters/Jason Lee
- China’s biggest ridehailing company, Didi, will bar female passengers from taking its carpooling service Hitch after 8 p.m.
- It’s part of a trial relaunch for Hitch, which Didi suspended in August 2018 after two female passengers were murdered within three months of each other.
- The new trial will also include an 11 p.m. cutoff for male passengers.
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China’s biggest ridehailing company Didi Chuxing won’t allow women to take its carpooling service Hitch after 8 p.m., apparently to keep them safe.
A 21 year-old air stewardess was killed in May 2018, leading to a brief suspension of Hitch. A second female passenger was raped and killed by her driver, leading to a full suspension in August.
Didi announced Wednesday that it will trial a relaunch of Hitch in seven Chinese cities at the end of this month after a “comprehensive safety review and product revamp.”
As part of this, the company said the new Hitch app will have an 8 p.m. cut-off for female passengers, while male passengers will be able to use it until 11 p.m.
Didi did not explain the exact logic behind the curfew for women in its press release, and the company was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Business Insider. It isn’t clear that a nighttime curfew will keep female passengers safer – according to TechCrunch, the May 2018 murder took place at 1 p.m.
The company also touted new “enhanced risk analysis, alert and intervention models” which should be able to spot “trip anomalies,” as well as an “in-app Safety Assistant” which will show increased detail about drivers and passengers.
Didi has tried to introduce similar failsafes before. After a brief suspension in June 2018 the company only allowed drivers to pick up passengers of the same sex late at night.