(Yicai Global) April 16 -- Chinese netizens have been speculating that recent safety improvements Didi Chuxing announced may suggest the ride-hailing giant is seeking to restart its carpooling service, which was halted last year after the murder of two passengers.
Didi Chuxing will set time limitations, force drivers to use popular routes, stop showing profile photos among other personal information including gender, and improve its capacity to deal with emergencies, Executive Zhang Rui wrote in an open letter posted on the Beijing-based firm's official Weibo account yesterday, without disclosing when the ride-hitching service will come back online.
The carpooling button that offered lower rates but also compromised the vetting of drivers was removed from the platform last August after drivers killed two female passengers, which caused a public outcry regarding insufficient safety features.
The firm is testing the waters to find out what the public opinion is about carpooling, some netizens suggested on Weibo. Some clients said they still feel unsafe to step into Didi Chuxing cars, while others posted that as long as authorities supervise the service provider, it is secure enough.
Didi Chuxing will gradually announce more plans to improve its product and security strategies, the firm told ChinaNews website which was wondering what is the timeline for opening the service again.
After rectification, Didi Chuxing's ride-hitching service will return to its original function of utilizing idle resources via sharing vacant seats in vehicles, Zhang said in the letter.
Editor: Emmi Laine