China's Didi Chuxing is suspending its ride-hitching service for a week after a passenger was murdered

  • Didi Chuxing's ride-hitching service, Didi Hitch, will be suspended for a week.
  • The son of a Didi driver accessed his father's app and was able to pick up passengers.
  • A 21-year-old female passenger was killed in Zhengzhou, the capital of China's Henan province.
Greg Baker | AFP | Getty Images

Chinese ride-hailing start-up Didi Chuxing said Friday it is suspending one of its carpooling services, called "ride-hitching," for a week after a passenger was murdered.

Didi said that a woman, identified only as "Ms. Li," was killed after the son of a driver registered with the company accessed his father's app, allowing him to pick up passengers.

The person driving the vehicle was not detected by Didi's night mode facial recognition as its night safety mechanism was "defective," the firm said.

Didi apologized and said it was "deeply saddened" about the incident. It said its "responsibilities" in the case were "undeniable."

"Our special task force is working closely with law enforcement agencies with the utmost effort," Didi Chuxing said in a statement. "The murderer needs to be brought to justice, and Ms Li and her family deserve a just answer."

The company added: "We apologize again to the family of the victim and the public. Please be assured we will review thoroughly all our business practices to prevent such an incident from happening again."

According to reports, the victim was a 21-year-old flight attendant and was killed in Zhengzhou, the capital of China's Henan province. Police are investigating the case. The news was trending on Chinese microblogging website Weibo.

Didi's ride-hitching service, Didi Hitch, is one of 13 offered by the firm, and will be suspended for one week nationwide for self-inspection and rectification of the issue, starting May 12.

The news comes after a report said that the homegrown tech giant is mulling a listing on the public market. Didi, which has 450 million users, is the biggest ride-hailing start-up in China.

The company bought Uber's Chinese business in 2016, and this year made its first direct expansion abroad, into Mexico.