A 20-year-old woman was found dead on the side of a remote mountain road in Yueqing, East China's Zhejiang Province, on Sunday. In her last known contact she complained to the customer services of Didi, a car hailing company, that she was being verbally harassed and threatened by the driver of the car she had hired. The male driver was detained by the local police hours later on suspicion of murder. Beijing Youth Daily comments:
If the man's crime is established, this will be the second woman killed by a Didi car hailing driver in three months.
An air stewardess was killed by the driver of a car she hailed on May 5 in Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan Province. The car was registered under the name of the man's father, who was employed by Didi.
After that, Didi pledged to reform and strengthen its management to ensure customers' safety.
What is known about the latest tragedy is that the car was registered in the name of the criminal suspect. Also, as in the case of the stewardess, the woman complained about the driver to Didi during the ride and her friend has even reported the threats she faced to the police.
One day before the woman's body was found, a woman had already reported the driver to Didi because he was threatening her and she had escaped while he was driving her to a sparsely populated site. Didi just told her that someone would call her in two hours, but the call never came.
In other words if the driver is indeed guilty of the deed, the woman might still be alive had the earlier passenger's complaint been heeded. And if the company had heeded the lessons from the death of the air stewardess, its customer service could have been more efficient and notified the police that the woman needed assistance.
Both victims did everything they could to save themselves. Didi has a duty to ensure the safety of its users and must improve its response to such calls.