Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rape and murder halt China Hitch service




Rape and murder halt China Hitch service

Rape and murder halt China Hitch service

CHINESE ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing said on Sunday that it would suspend its ride-sharing Hitch service after the rape and murder of a passenger, the second such killing this year.

Police have arrested a 27-year-old man who worked as a driver in the eastern city of Wenzhou on suspicion of raping and killing a female passenger who used the app to hail a ride.

The company said it would suspend Didi Hitch – a service which pairs up commuters travelling in the same direction – beginning midnight on Monday.

The announcement came a day after the company admitted it bore “responsibility” for the crime, failing to act on a complaint about the same driver from another passenger, who claimed he drove her to an isolated area and followed her in his vehicle after she left the car.

“The incident shows the many deficiencies with our customer service processes, especially the failure to act swiftly on the previous passenger’s complaint and the cumbersome and rigid process of information sharing with the police,” Didi said on Sunday. “This is too high a cost to pay.”

Local police said the driver, identified by the surname Chung, picked up the 20-year-old victim around 1:00pm on Friday.

But she went missing an hour later after sending a friend a text message asking for help, prompting a manhunt which saw the driver arrested in the early hours of Saturday, police said.

The killing has sparked fresh criticism of Didi – which muscled Uber out of the market following a bruising battle – as angry users voiced concerns about the safety of the service.

“Since the company can’t regulate itself, get out of the market,” wrote one user on the Twitter-like Weibo.

In a scathing commentary, the official Xinhua news agency on Sunday pointed out that Didi has been slapped with over 1 million yuan ($148,000) in fines over the past 10 months in Wenzhou alone.

“Despite repeated punishment, there has been recalcitrant behaviour and no change, a reflection of the company’s indifference to safety and social responsibility,” the commentary said, calling on Didi to be punished if it fails to put customer safety first.

Didi said Sunday that the head of Didi Hitch and the vice president of customer service have been “removed” from their positions.

In May, a 21-year-old air stewardess using the same Hitch service was killed by a Didi Chuxing driver, prompting criticism of the company’s security measures and a tightening of its rules of use.

This included limiting Hitch drivers to only picking up members of the same sex late at night and early morning, and enabling passengers to share their route with an emergency contact.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • ‘Beware of WhatsApp fraudsters’

    The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications warned members of the public who use WhatsApp to vigilantly guard against a new trick employed by hackers that involves the use of six-digit codes sent to potential victims via the popular messaging app. The ministry said hackers could