BEIJING: Chinese ridesharing giant Didi Chuxing said today it bore "responsibility" for the rape and murder of a passenger by a driver who had been reported by another user just a day before the killing.
Police in the city of Wenzhou said today they had arrested a 27-year-old man who worked as a driver on suspicion of raping and killing a female passenger who had used the app to hail a ride.
The killing has sparked criticism of the company -- known as the "Chinese Uber" due to its overwhelming popularity in the country -- and raised fresh concerns over the safety of its users.
In a statement released today the company admitted it had failed to act after receiving a complaint about the same driver from another female passenger, who claimed he drove her to an isolated area and followed her in his vehicle after she left the car.
"Our customer service did not investigate this report quickly enough, no matter the reason, we take on an undeniable responsibility", it said.
"We have a responsibility and we feel guilty. As a platform, we betrayed the trust of the public."
In May a 21-year-old air stewardess was killed by a Didi Chuxing driver, prompting criticism of the company's security measures and a tightening up of its rules of use.
The latest murder has prompted renewed and widespread anger online.
"How can a driver who has been reported still go on taking passengers?" asked one user of the Twitter-like Weibo social network.
"Get out of the market! I do not want to see your next apology," said another.