China

"I Blame Myself" - Didi CEO's Memo To Staff On Recent Passenger Murders

In an internal company-wide memo Didi founder Cheng Wei had sent and our parent company 36Kr had managed to obtain, the 35-year-old founder expressed deep remorse over the recent killings of two riders using the company’s carpooling service, saying that he blames himself for the safety-related problems that have occurred.

Didi, which is currently the market leader in China’s ride-hailing market, had been in bad shape lately after it was linked to two rape-and-murders in three months, both of which were committed by its Hitch car-pooling drivers.

The latest case happened in August — a 20-year-old passenger was found murdered in Leqing, a city in Chinese province Zhejiang. The driver has been arrested.

Cheng admitted that after the Leqing murder incident, Didi decided to remove its internal target for growth and reflected extensively on Hitch, its carpooling business.

The Information wrote in August that Didi had struggled to meet its internal growth targets and has been trying all sorts of ways to boost its numbers, including expanding into food delivery and bike-sharing.

It also recently acquired an auto-maintenance company in a bid to provide more car-related services to its users and drivers.

In the memo, he posed, “Does Didi have any values, or is it just a company that only cares about profits, disregards safety, a black-hearted firm that wants to shirk responsibility? Does Didi have the ability to protect its users? Is ride-hailing even an industry that should exist?”

Although Cheng Wei seems to believe that Didi might have let its overly ambitious goals overtake its good intentions in the beginning as it expanded aggressively, he does not think Didi was only driven by profits.

Going forward, Didi will prioritise its implementation of safety measures, and will establish a security department where Cheng Wei will serve as its team leader with Didi’s President Jean Liu as its deputy team leader.

This new unit will work closely with the police to ensure safety across Didi offerings.

Full memo below (original in Chinese, translated into English by KrASIA)

以下是滴滴内部信件原文:

全体小桔人:

乐清事件发生十多天了。我想大家和我一样,沉浸在对生命逝去的沉痛中。滴滴也陷入了质疑的风暴。我很自责。一切问题都是管理者的问题,事件首要责任在我,责无旁贷。

下线顺风车,深夜停服,上线一系列安全措施,内部取消增长目标,迎接多部委大检查……高速发展的滴滴踩了一脚急刹车。那天,我在办公区里遇到一位不认识的年轻同事。他走过来拥抱了我一下,说了句加油。心里热乎乎的,很感动。大家最近一定也很煎熬,我给大家写下这封信,让我们隔空拥抱。

这些天,我和大家一样带着痛在倾听公众和主管部门的批评、建议,内心也在反思,我们躲不过几个锥心的问题:滴滴到底有没有价值观,是不是一家只顾利益,漠视安全、逃避责任的黑心企业?滴滴到底有没有这个能力,能不能保护用户的安全出行?互联网出行到底是不是一个应该存在的行业?

痛定思痛,问题在我们自己身上。好胜心盖过了初心,狂奔的发展模式早已种下隐患。内部体系提升跟不上规模扩张,就像灵魂跟不上脚步。互联网第一次开始大规模组织运送生命,被赋予时代机遇的我们还没有真正理解肩上的责任和挑战,缺乏敬畏。我们的安全指标体系存在着盲点,过分关注亿英里事故率、亡人率和冲突率等宏观指标;对重大恶性个案的防控体系还不健全。犯罪分子乘虚而入,给用户带来无可挽回的伤害,而滴滴也付出了沉重代价。

但是,亲爱的同学们,痛过之后,我们是不是要彻底否定互联网出行这一份事业?我们是不是已经彻底丧失信心,放弃梦想,丧失了改正错误的能力?

我的内心是坚定的。让出行更美好,是我们创业出发的原点,也是每个小桔人加入公司的初心。今天的挑战正是我们要继续奋斗的方向。

我们在探索一条没人走过的路。尽管有人质疑互联网出行的安全性,但我们还是看到了远低于传统出租车行业的发案率,看到了100%的破案率。从出租车打车软件起步,我们陆续上线了大数据风险预判模型、人脸识别、一键报警、紧急联系人、号码保护、行程分享、行程录音、线上线下司机培训等安全功能和保障措施。每天,有2700万次司乘通话得到号码保护;有超过40万人分享行程,给亲友报平安。每天,客服同学们处理210万次咨询和投诉的进线中,包括1万多次紧急求助;每天,准入审核平台将4万多不合格的申请挡在门槛之外。2017年,平台事故发生率降低了21%,后座安全带使用率从2.5%提升到10%。大家过去所做的努力都是有价值的。

滴滴绝不是一家黑心企业,也绝不是一家赚钱高于一切的企业。6年来我们还没有实现过盈利。2018年上半年公司整体净亏损超过40亿人民币。我们出行业务对应GMV的平均Take Rate约为16%,绝大部分返还给了司机和乘客,公司整体对应GMV的毛利率只有1.6%。上半年,包括司机高峰期补贴、接单和服务奖励、乘客优惠等在内的总补贴返还金额超过117亿人民币。利润绝不是滴滴最关注的目标。作为承担亿万次交通出行服务的平台,我们会坚持低毛利运营,把收入更多投入安全和体验。

我们仍然承载着亿万用户的信任。每天都有乘客进线为好的服务表达感谢,最艰难的时刻很多司机为我们送来鼓励,每个大区都珍藏着用户和警方送来的锦旗。正是为了不愧对他们,我们不能轻言放弃,我们必须加倍努力。

全体小桔人,请大家跟我一起,哪里跌倒哪里爬起来! 放下浮躁,投入安全,彻底补课。我们更需要从文化上把安全第一融入血液。需要我们夜以继日,守护生命,我们才能心安。需要大家相信我们永远不会为利润放弃安全,用户和社会才会心安。

新业态才刚刚起步,我们坚信,融合传统交通行业的安全管理经验,加上互联网的透明和大数据技术,一定会让出行更安全。行胜于言,让我们用行动赢回用户的信任,重建社会对移动出行的信心。

滴滴要旗帜鲜明地做一家社会化企业。我们将把平台规则和定价机制向公众和监管机构公开,更开放透明地与公众和监管部门、各界专家进行沟通,更虚心诚恳地向外界学习,听取批评建议,更快推动网约车合规进程,与全社会共建为人民群众服务的社会化出行平台。

现在,我们正积极配合多部委的联合安全大检查,准备更加深入持久的安全攻坚战。公司现已升级成立安全指挥部。我任组长,柳青任副组长。各战线核心干部都动员和投入进来:

  • CTO线调动力量,全面升级安全产品运营体系,最大化降低安全隐患;
  • 客服体系投入攻坚战役,保证建立快速反应机制,处置到位;
  • 各业务线协同,迅速推进网约车合规方案设计与落实;
  • 安全事务部加强对全局安全体系的专业化建设和监督,全力推动警企联动合作;
  • 其他各部门,在各自战线上共同努力,建设完善公司安全体系。

争分夺秒,倾尽全力。众志成城,All in 安全。

危难关头,要向每一位坚定的小桔人和你们的家人说一声感谢。

我爱大家。

程维

2018年9月7日

~

Dear Didiren,

It has been more than 10 days since the Leqing incident. I think that everyone like myself is deeply immersed in the pain of a life being lost. Didi, too, has been caught in a storm of doubt. I blame myself. All the problems belong with the management — the primary responsibility lies with me.

We have suspended our carpooling service Hitch and paused our late-night services. We’re going to launch a series of security measures, get rid of our growth-centric targets, as well as welcome multi-ministerial inspections. We have hit the emergency brakes on Didi’s rapid development. The other day, I met an unfamiliar young colleague in the office. He gave me a hug and told me to “keep it up”. I felt warmth in my heart, and I was moved. Everyone must have been suffering recently so I’m writing this letter to everyone. Let us give each other a virtual hug.

These days, like everyone, I am in pain listening to the criticisms and suggestions of the public and the relevant personnel, of which I am reflecting on. There are a few heart-breaking questions that we cannot hide from. Does Didi have any values, or is it just a company that only cares about profits, disregards safety, a black-hearted firm that wants to shirk responsibility? Does Didi have the ability to protect its users? Is ride-hailing even an industry that should exist?

We can learn from our mistakes and understand that the problem lies with us. We have let our ambitious nature got the better of our initial intention, and rapid development was able to plant hidden dangers. The internal system can’t keep up with the scale of expansion, just like the soul can’t keep up with the pace. For the first time, the Internet began to, on a large scale, support mobility and the transportation of people, and while Didi was bestowed with a good opportunity, it did not truly understand the responsibility and challenge that stood on its shoulders, and lacked the appropriate respect for it. There are blind spots within our safety indication system, and was overly focused on our accident rate per hundred million miles, death rates, collision rates, and macro metrics; it does not comprehensively prevent and control malicious crimes. Criminals are taking advantage of this gap, harming our users in an irreversible manner. In this regard, Didi has paid a heavy price.

However, dear colleagues, after this period of pain, should we totally denounce the online ride-hailing industry? Are we totally dejected? Have we given up on our dreams, and lost our ability to fix mistakes?

My heart is firm. We started this business wanting to improve ride-hailing, and this is also the initial mindset of all of you when you first joined this company. We will continue to fight in the direction of today’s challenges.

We’re exploring on a road no one has taken. Although some people question the safety standards of ride-hailing services, we still see a far lower rate of crime than the traditional taxi industry, and have seen a 100% detection rate. Starting from developing ride-hailing software, we have successively launched safety functions and safeguards such as big data risk prediction model, facial recognition, one-button alarm for calling the police, emergency contacts, number protection, travel sharing, travel recording, online and offline driver training. Every day, there are 27 million calls with number protection implemented; over 400,000 trips shared with family and friends to report that they’ve reached their destination safely. Every day, our customer service colleagues have to handle 2.1 million consultations and complaints, including more than 10,000 emergency requests; every day, our platform blocks more than 40,000 unqualified driver applications. In 2017, the incidence of accidents  on our platform decreased by 21%, and the use of rear seat belts increased from 2.5% to 10%. Every effort you have made in the past is valuable.

Didi is definitely not an evil enterprise nor is it a company that values profit over everything else. In the last six years, we have not earned a profit. In the first half of 2018, the company’s overall net loss exceeded RMB 4 billion. The average Take Rate of our ride-hailing business corresponding to GMV is about 16%, most of which is returned to drivers and passengers. The company’s overall GMV gross margin is only 1.6%. In the first half of the year, the total subsidy rebate, including driver peak subsidies, orders and service incentives, and passenger concessions, exceeded RMB 11.7 billion. Profit is by no means the most important target of Didi. As a platform that handles hundreds of millions of transportation requests, we will adhere to low-margin operations and put more revenue into safety and experience.

We still carry the trust of hundreds of millions of users. Every day, passengers come online to express their gratitude for the good service rendered. During difficult times, many drivers sent us encouraging messages. In every big region, we cherish pennants from users and police departments. It is precisely because of our commitment to them that we cannot give up easily, and we have to work doubly hard.

To all Didiren, together with me, please get up from where we have fallen. Stop being flippant, focus on safety, and thoroughly make up for things. Company culture-wise, we need to place the most importance on safety. It will require us to work day and night, protect lives, and only then can we rest. It requires everyone to believe that we will never give up safety for profits, and only then will users and society be at ease.

This new business model is just picking up. We firmly believe that we can make ride-hailingf a safer industry by fusing the security management experience of the traditional transportation sector with the transparency and big data insights of the Internet. Action speaks louder than words, let us win back the trust of our users with actions and rebuild the confidence society had in mobility and ride-hailing.

Didi is determined to be a social enterprise with a clear goal. We will disclose the platform rules and pricing mechanisms to the public and regulatory agencies, communicate more openly and transparently with the public and regulatory authorities, experts from all walks of life, and learn from the outside world more humbly, listen to criticism and suggestions, and promote online car compliance more quickly, building a platform for the people with the people.

Now, we are actively cooperating with multi-ministries to coordinate safety inspections, and prepare for an intensive and lasting battle against unsafe practices. The firm has now established a security department where I am the team leader and Liu Qing (Jean Liu) will serve as deputy team leader. The core members of each front, who will be focused on the following —

  • CTO to put in all resources, upgrade security product operation system, and maximise the company’s ability to reduce security concerns.
  • The customer service department plays a crucial role in this battle it’s been put into. It must ensure that a rapid response mechanism is established and used.
  • All lines of business will cooperate to quickly promote the design and implementation of the compliance plan for ride-hailing.
  • The Security Department will strengthen the professionalism and security of the overall system, and will fully cooperate with the police. 
  • All other departments will need to work equally as hard from your own post to continue building the company’s safety system.

Every second is precious. Do your best. Unity is strength. Let’s All in safety.

During this critical time, we want to say a word of thanks to every Didiren and your family.

I love you all.

Cheng Wei

September 7, 2018.

This article is written by Elaine Huang (edited by Ben Jiang); and was first seen on KRAsia

 

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