Shaanxi police have introduced a new in-app safety feature on WeChat. According to local media reports (in Chinese), the new feature, accessed via the Shaanxi police official WeChat account, allows people to not only report incidents of crime and emergency to the police but also upload images, audio and video recordings which could be useful evidence later on.
If the phone’s location service is turned on, people can share their whereabouts directly with the police. The feature also offers a way to get help when the person seeking help for some reason cannot speak or is at a location with no stable service but has access to Wi-Fi.
The murders of two young women and the numerous reports of sexual assault that followed have sparked heated discussions across the country. In China, the number of downloads of emergency-reporting apps has surged. The public is not only demanding Didi to take passenger safety issues more seriously but also calling Chinese authorities for greater oversight of ride-hailing operators.
Since the incident, Didi has announced new safety measures, including a panic button that allows users to contact and share passenger information with the police. Didi will also experiment with audio recordings of shared-rides.