China's Didi to restructure following passenger murders

Didi came under intense criticism after two young female passengers were murdered last year by drivers using the company's Hitch
Didi came under intense criticism after two young female passengers were murdered last year by drivers using the company's Hitch carpool service

Chinese ride-hailing leader Didi Chuxing will streamline operations and make cuts to non-core business units as it doubles down on safety after the murders of two passengers clobbered its image, a source familiar with the plans told AFP.

Chief executive Cheng Wei told staff in an internal meeting on Friday that about 2,000 employees, or 15 percent of current staff, would be laid off as part of the reorganisation, primarily in business lines outside main operations, the source said.

However, Cheng said Didi would make around 2,500 "new hires" this year in the areas of safety technology, product engineering, driver management and international operations.

It was not clear which business lines would be affected, but Didi also provides food delivery and online .

Didi's ride-hailing services are used by hundreds of millions of customers in China.

But the company came under intense criticism after two young female passengers were murdered last year by drivers using Didi's Hitch carpool , which links up commuters travelling in the same direction and is not part of its main ride-hailing platform.

Didi apologised, suspended Hitch and strengthened its safety features.

The firm muscled Uber out of China in 2016 after a bruising turf battle. It now claims more than 31 million drivers and 550 million users across its various services.

Didi declined comment when contacted by AFP.


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