China's Didi taking new safety steps, to temporarily halt some late night mainland services

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing is seen at their new drivers center in Toluca, Mexico, April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing Technology Co Ltd said on Tuesday it will implement new measures to improve the safety of its platform and will temporarily halt some late-night services in mainland China between Sept. 8 and Sept. 15 as it phases in the measures.

The company is under government and public pressure to make changes to its platform after a 20-year-old passenger was murdered by her Didi driver last month in the second such incident since May, and has since vowed to prioritize safety over growth.

Didi said in a statement that it would upgrade its emergency SOS button to a function that would directly call the police, trial audio recording of trips on some services such as Didi Express and enhance its driver education and assessment programs as part of seven initiatives it will pursue.

It will also increase efforts to build a new customer service system, which will include forming an in-house professional customer service team of 8,000 people, it said.

The company will temporarily suspend some late-night services such as taxi and express between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. each day from September 8-15 on the Chinese mainland to phase in the measures.

Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk and Brenda Goh; editing by Jason Neely