Mapping company AutoNavi (高德地图) has suspended its carpooling service across China following the rape and murder of a female passenger by Didi Hitch driver.

Didi’s case set its local counterparts on alert for the security risks of their carpooling services. As part of China’s ride-hailing resurgence, AutoNavi launched a carpooling option in March this year, presenting it as a public service aimed at reducing traffic. Four months later, the Alibaba-backed company rolled out a mobility aggregation platform to further tap into the sector. The hitchhiking service on Dida (嘀嗒), another popular Didi rival, operates normally now, but the company removed its social networking feature after Didi’s passenger murder case happened in May.

A 21-year-old female passenger was murdered by her driver when using Didi’s carpooling service on August 24th in the eastern city of Wenzhou. The incident sparked on an online backlash against the company over its safety problems. In response to the incident, the ride-hailing giant suspended its carpooling service and promised to address “many deficiencies” with its customer service.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.