A verified driver on ride-hailing platform Didi registered in the southern Chinese city of Nanjing stabbed his passenger in the arm following an argument, media outlet JSTV reported.

Why it matters: Didi’s safety measures attracted public outcry and government censure last year after two separate female passengers using the platform were raped and murdered by drivers registered under its carpooling service Hitch.

  • In the aftermath of the two incidents, Didi suspended the Hitch service and introduced stricter background checks for its drivers. The company also introduced a series of features to aimed at increasing passenger safety.

Details: The incident happened at around 3 a.m. on Nov. 9 after the passenger asked the driver to go faster and the driver refused. The driver told the passenger to leave the car, and the two started to argue outside, which soon escalated into a fight, JSTV reported.

  • During the fight, the passenger pinned the driver to the ground, and the driver stabbed him in the right arm with a knife, the report cited the passenger as saying.
  • Following the incident, the driver was put into criminal detention, while the passenger was sent to the hospital and discharged on Nov. 11.
  • A Didi spokesperson confirmed the cause of the incident to TechNode after checking recordings from the order, saying that the passenger was asking the driver to exceed the speed limit.
  • According to a screenshot of the order on Didi obtained by JSTV, the driver is a verified driver with a five-star rating. He has completed more than 10,000 orders prior to the incident.
  • A Didi representative covered some of the passenger’s medical expenses but also required him to sign an agreement saying he would not disclose the incident to any media organization, the passenger told JSTV. After the passenger refused, the representative said he would no longer cover any related medical expenses.
  • A second representative from the platform, however, told JSTV that they were only asking the passenger not to disclose how Didi deals with the matter.

Context: Last week, Didi announced plans to relaunch Hitch later in November, more than a year after suspending the service.

  • Didi’s new rules for Hitch initially barred female users from using the service between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. the next day.
  • Following public backlash criticizing the company for sexist policies, Didi said it would standardize operating hours for Hitch to run from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. for all users.

Tony Xu is Shanghai-based tech reporter. Connect with him via e-mail: tony.xu@technode.com

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