(ECNS) -- China's leading ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing now requires users of its carpooling service to undertake face recognition twice for rides longer than 30 kilometers.
Didi Chuxing announced a series of measures to enhance the safety of its carpooling service, known as "Hitch," following public outcry over the murder of a 21-year-old flight attendant by a driver in central Zhengzhou City on May 6.
Previously, the biggest loophole in Hitch, which pairs up commuters heading in the same direction, was that a driver could start the service with just one face recognition for the first ride, making it possible for subsequent rides to be provided by other drivers instead, rather than the one registered with Didi Chuxing.
In the latest version of the Hitch service, the driver and the passenger must undergo face recognition for each ride to prevent fraud. The Hitch services will be temporarily offline from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. The user also needs to verify their ID through more rigorous steps in the app.
A blind passenger told China National Radio on Monday that he found it difficult to get a second face recognition during a ride without voice assistance. The passenger said he had to find someone else to help finish the second face recognition procedure.
A Didi Chuxing spokesperson said the measure aims to ensure safety for a long-distance ride and the ride-hailing firm will upgrade the program to better serve passengers with special requirements. Visually impaired passengers are also advised to use the service accompanied by family members.
Yue Shenshan, a lawyer with Yuecheng Law Firm in Beijing, said there's still no regulations over the rights and responsibilities between drivers and carpooling service passengers in the case of a car accident.