China sentences to death driver who killed passenger of ride-hailing firm Didi – Reuters

What happened: A Chinese court has sentenced 28-year-old former Didi driver Zhong Yuan to death for murdering and raping a passenger in the eastern coastal city of Wenzhou last year. The court made the announcement on microblogging platform Weibo. Zhong pleaded guilty earlier this month.

Why it’s important: The murder was the second high-profile incident perpetrated by Didi drivers last year, resulting in fierce criticism of the company by both the Chinese government and public. Didi has since moved to remove noncompliant drivers from its platform and restructured in an effort to increase the safety of its services. Following a series of government investigations, Didi was found to have “serious safety hazards” in its carpooling business Hitch, the same platform the drivers used to target their victims. The service has been suspended indefinitely.

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Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is a Shanghai-based technology reporter. He covers Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, and cybersecurity. You can contact him at chrisudemans [at] technode [dot] com.