BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese ride hailing giant Didi Chuxing said on Friday it would restart its evening Hitch service in some cities, with improved safety features and more rigorous driver and passenger verification procedures.
Drivers and passengers who meet the requirements could use the service between 20:00 to 23:00, Didi said in a post on Weibo.
The move comes after the coronavirus epidemic battered demand in China for ride-hailing services.
Didi, which is backed by Japan’s SoftBank, launched delivery services in 21 Chinese cities this month, in a move it hopes will provide its drivers with more income.
Didi relaunched Hitch in November after it suspended the service in 2018 following the murder of a female passenger by her driver.
The case hit Didi’s image at a time when it has been trying to expand overseas to compete with foreign rivals such as Uber, and led the company to pledge it would prioritize safety over growth.
(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Mark Potter)