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Didi is resuming its controversial carpool function Hitch

Didi is resuming its controversial carpool function Hitch
Didi’s Hitch carpooling feature will be relaunched first in Beijing, Harbin, Shenyang, Taiyuan, Shijiazhuang, Changzhou and Nantong. (Picture: Reuters)

Didi Chuxing announced today that it’s bringing back Hitch, a carpooling function that matches private car owners and passengers who are heading the same direction. The service was indefinitely suspended nationwide in August last year after two murders of female passengers within three months.

The company said Hitch is coming back with a new “women’s safety program,” which includes a “Safety Assistant” in the app that offers “real-time support from safety specialists.” But Didi is also limiting the time women are allowed to use the feature. Women can use Hitch between 5am and 8pm, while men have until 11pm. Hitch rides will be limited to 50 kilometers (31 miles) in metro areas.

After the murders last year, Didi started a comprehensive safety overhaul. It added in-car audio recordings, a real-name verification system, and safety knowledge tests for drivers, among other measures.

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Panasonic won’t open Chinese battery plant for Tesla
Panasonic won’t open Chinese battery plant for Tesla
Tesla has been expanding across China, but its battery supplier Panasonic has no plans to plans to open a plant there for the EV maker. (Picture: Roy Issa/SCMP)
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Tencent has a new Tinder clone for 'high quality socializing'
Tencent has a new Tinder clone for 'high quality socializing'
Qingliao only shows users a limited number of profiles at a time. (Picture: Qingliao/iOS App Store)

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Man sues NetEase after his friend sells a US$1.4 million game character for US$500
Man sues NetEase after his friend sells a US$1.4 million game character for US$500
The local court touted this case as an example of how judges can mediate cases remotely. (Picture: Sichuan High Court)

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1997
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Didi will soon roll out a self-driving taxi service in Shanghai
Didi will soon roll out a self-driving taxi service in Shanghai
Didi’s autonomous driving team is developing and testing self-driving vehicles in both China and the US, the company says. (Picture: Didi)

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2012
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The Vivo S1 Pro for Southeast Asia has a brand new look
The Vivo S1 Pro for Southeast Asia has a brand new look
The new Vivo S1 Pro for Southeast Asia looks nothing like the one that launched in China earlier this year. (Picture: Vivo)

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2009
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The Three-Body Problem animation trailer is getting mixed reactions
The Three-Body Problem animation trailer is getting mixed reactions
Former US President Barack Obama and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have both read The Three-Body Problem. (Picture: Bilibili)

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China says its first permanent space station will be ready by 2022
China says its first permanent space station will be ready by 2022
Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng (left) and Chen Dong (right) entering the Tiangong-2 space lab on October 19, 2016. (Picture: Xinhua)