BEIJING – Didi Chuxing, China's popular equestrian service, kicked two senior staff and suspended a car-pooling service after the second murder of a female passenger in three months.
Crime follows others who have raised questions about the company's ability to protect women who use their services and are in a hurry for Didi, one of the world's most successful startups. It has grown at a pace in China and around the world, and it is expected to increase billions of dollars if it seeks to sell stocks in public markets.
However, a number of episodes in China have raised questions about their ability to protect women who use their services. Over the weekend, a number of consumers called online for a boycott of Didi's services.
The scandal gives more feed to critics by the company, who bought Uber's business in China two years ago. In May, a 21-year-old airline was found dead after using Didis Hitch service in Zhengzhou city center.
Didi said in a statement on Sunday that it had dismissed Huang Jieli, general manager of Hitch, and Huang Jinhong, vice president of customer service operations. The previous leaders could not be reached immediately for comments.
Didi said on Saturday that the driver had no criminal record and had given authentic documentation to the company. But it also said another passenger had sent a complaint to the driver on Thursday saying that the driver had asked several times that the passenger was sitting next to him, taking the passenger to a distant place and then following the passenger after leaving 
A friend said it was "guilty" not to investigate the complaint.
"As a platform, we have disappointed the public's confidence in us and can not waste this responsibility," said the company. of the killed woman told Weibo that they had called Didi's customer service hotline seven times, to no avail. Another friend went to a police station in Wenzhou. When officers tried to contact Didi, the company said their request would take about three to four hours, Wenzhou police said.
On social media, Chinese Internet users condemned Didi for being slow to respond.
Since May, Chinese news outlets have widely referred to several instances of violence and harassment. At least 53 women have been raped or sexually harassed by Didi drivers for the last four years, Southern Weekly, a newspaper in Guangzhou, reported referring to news reports and legal documents. Caixin, a weekly corporate publication, found at least 14 rape cases with Didi, referring to court documents.
Didi's main business resembles Uber. The smaller Hitch service made it possible for private drivers to pick up passengers while on their daily commute for a little extra money. Didi marketed Hitch as a way for riders to make friends, as well as a cheaper alternative to his other riders.
Many features were abused. For example, the app allowed drivers to leave custom brands and passengers on the Didi Hitch passengers. However, female passengers noticed that some drivers used these features to comment on their appearance.
Didi announced new measures to improve the safety of the rider after the murder in May and said it would overtake its security services. It said that it would suspend the driver's ability to leave custom codes. The company said it would also suspend its Hitch service between 10 o'clock and 6 o'clock a day.
In June, Didi resumed late night service, but said that would not allow male drivers to retrieve female passengers afterwards. The company said the aircraft was designed to protect women, but it was criticized as sexist and inconvenient for female passengers since most Chinese drivers are men.
Elsie Chen contributed to research.