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More Details Emerge: Didi Killer Took 9000 RMB from Victim Before Murder

Manya Koetse

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A day after the brutal killing of a female passenger using one of Didi’s car-hailing services made headlines in China, more details emerge about the circumstances of the homicide.

One of the most shocking details reported in Chinese media today is that the driver, the suspected murderer of the 20-year-old female, made her transfer an amount of 9000 yuan (±$1320) to his account before taking her life.

The driver reportedly had to drive to an area with better phone reception in order for the online transaction to succeed. Once the victim, a woman by the name of Xiao Zhao (小赵), had succeeded in transferring the money to his account via WeChat wallet, he raped her, stabbed her to death, and rolled her body off a cliff.

The incident took place during a so-called ‘Didi Shunfengche‘ (乘顺风车) ride, a car-pooling service from Chinese Uber-like company Didi Kuaidi, which was first introduced in 2015.

Chinese online news outlet The Paper reports that instead of choosing the highway – which would have taken around 40 minutes to her final destination -, the driver had taken a desolate mountainous route during the ride. At some point during this ride, he tied the hands and feet of Xiao Zhao so she couldn’t move, and taped off her mouth.

Timeline:

August 24:

±13:00: The 20-year-old Zhao from Wenzhou arranges a Didi ‘carpool’ ride from Hongqiao Town to Yongjia to attend a birthday party.

14:09: Xiao Zhao sends a WeChat message to a friend, saying. “I’m scared, the driver has taken a mountain road, there’s no one here.”

14:14: Xiao Zhao sends her last words to her friends via Wechat, writing “Help” (救命) and “Save me” (抢救).

“Help me,” Xiao Zhao cried for help through message before her phone lost contact.

15:42: After Xiao Zhao’s friend has contacted the Didi help desk seven times within the time frame of an hour, she is told to “please wait patiently.”

16:22: The friend informs Yongjia police of the situation.

17:35: The family members also report the case to the Yueqing police.

17:42: Xiao Zhao’s friend asks Didi customer service for the details of the driver, but is denied this information.

18:13: Didi provides police with the vehicle and driver information.

August 25:

4:00: The criminal suspect, the Didi driver, is arrested by local police, and admits to raping and killing the female passenger.

±6:00: Police and rescue workers find the victim’s body in a mountainous area near the road.

For the past two days, this case has been one of the main trending topics on Chinese social media, with many condemning the company for failing to protect (female) passengers against such dangers.

The inadequate response of customer service has been a major topic of discussion; they did not only fail to respond to this case in time, but earlier this week, another woman claimed she was harassed by the same driver, and customer service also did not take action against him.

It now appears that Didi has been outsourcing its customer service, resulting in service workers not having the authority nor ability to see into more detailed information about Didi’s registered drivers and ride information.

For now, Didi has taken down its entire ‘shunfengche‘ carpooling service nationwide. The service is different from its regular Didi service in that it allows car owners to drive people to their destination while they are going there themselves (much like hitchhiking), making some money by sharing the ride.

Meanwhile, many Chinese news media outlets report more background details on the suspect. The 27-year-old Sichuan native was a high-school dropout and a ‘left-behind child’ (留守儿童) – meaning his parents are migrant workers who had to leave their child in their more rural hometown while going out to work in the city.

This is the second murder of a female passenger using Didi’s services within four months time. For more informarion on this case, please check our report here.

By Manya Koetse, and Miranda Barnes

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2018 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Alex

    August 27, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Great summary as usual. Would it be possible for you to also include the pinyin when writing the Chinese characters? It’d make it much easier to learn the pronunciation any characters I don’t recognize. Some articles have it already (快狗 article for instance).

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China Memes & Viral

Train Fight Between Chinese and Foreign Passenger over Mask-Wearing Goes Viral on Douyin

A video that shows a foreign man yelling at a Chinese woman on the high-speed train has gone viral on Chinese social media.

Manya Koetse

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“She is not the owner of the train! Shut up!” A short video of a quarrel on a train between a foreign man and a Chinese woman has gone viral on Chinese social media.

In the video, a Chinese woman can be heard yelling to a foreign man, saying: “Why can he go without a face mask?! Does he have special privilege? What is he doing in China if he doesn’t follow the rules?” The man then says: “She needs to shut up, she is harassing me!” A train attendant standing in between the passenger seats tries to calm down both passengers.

The incident reportedly took place on the G7530 high-speed train from Ninghai to Shanghai on May 5, where a dispute started over the man allegedly refusing to wear a face mask. The man does wear a face mask in the video.

The video went viral on Douyin, the Chinese TikTok, and also made its rounds on Kuaishou and Weibo (#阿姨怒怼不戴口罩外籍乘客#, #外籍男子未戴口罩还狂怼邻座阿姨#, #官方回应老外乘高铁拒戴口罩#).

The video sparked some anti-foreign sentiments on Weibo, where some commenters called the man a “foreign devil” or “foreign trash,” with others condemning his aggressive behavior and telling him to get out of China.

Shanghai Railways addressed the incident on its social media channel, confirming that the train conductor on the G7530 train indeed came across two passengers arguing because the foreign man was not wearing his mask correctly. In the post, the railways reminded all passengers to properly wear their masks while on the train.

Among the hundreds of people commenting on the statement, there are many who feel the train staff have been too lenient with the passenger.

This is not the first incident where foreigners make it to the (local) news in China for not wearing a mask. In April of 2020, a foreign man was detained in Beijing after he attempted to walk into a neighborhood community without a mask and then became aggressive with local security guards who wanted him to wear a face mask.

In December of 2020, another foreign man was filmed and triggered online anger as he walked around Wenzhou station not wearing a face mask, without anyone reminding him to wear one.

When it comes to train fights, the most famous ones are that of the ‘high speed train tyrant’ and the ‘train tyrant women.’ Both passengers went viral in 2018 for refusing to give up their seats although they were assigned to other passengers. At the time, both passengers were fined for their unruly behavior.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Sex & Gender

Guangzhou Metro Security Guard Posts X-ray Images of Passengers’ Adult Toys

Chinese netizens are annoyed by a Guangzhou Metro security guard posting the X-ray images of the private contents of passenger bags.

Bobby Fung

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Gender issues, privacy awareness, and complaints by commuters about time-consuming regular security checks at Chinese subway stations – on May 7, these widely-discussed issues in today’s China all came together in a Weibo post that soon went viral.

A screenshot posted to a group chat by a security guard nicknamed ‘Crush’ showed X-ray images of bags and suitcases of commuters, in which adult toys can be discerned.

“There are many beautiful girls in Guangzhou,” the security guard said: “..but the problem is that they are not serious.” He added: “My purity is tarnished as I see more and more adult toys.”

These remarks, circulating around social media, prompted privacy concerns. As Weibo blogger @三千院雨Official wrote: “Why can you play with your smartphone while you’re at work? How can these kinds of bad-mannered individuals be qualified as security guards? What gives you the right to take photos of passengers’ personal belongings, spread them to other platforms, and make personal comments?”

The Weibo post regarding the X-ray images has received over 280.000 likes and more than 21.000 reposts so far. The blogger stated that the incident has now been reported to the authorities.

Many netizens voice their concerns over privacy rights violations under the post: “Every citizen hands over their privacy to the security guard out of trust. If the security guard not only fails to work for the people, but even violates their privacy, then public trust will be lost in the long run.”

Some commenters are more emotional: “Is there something wrong with this guy? This is equivalent to disclosing personal information!”

The post thread has seemingly also become a battleground for gender issues. Recently, the feminist movement in China has been pressing for the destigmatization of sexual desire and adult toys. The remarks of the security guard that link adult toys to ‘impurity’ became a target of criticism. “Sexual fetishes that don’t harm anyone are not wrong,” one comment said, receiving over 2000 likes.

Discussions on sexism and gender discrimination, which have seen a rise on Chinese social media recently, also flared up again over this incident.

The last time these kinds of discussions flooded Weibo was in March, when Intel severed ties with its ambassador Yang Li, a female stand-up comedian. Yang Li is controversial for her jokes mocking men (“men are adorable, but mysterious. After all, they can look so average and yet be so full of confidence”), with some blaming her for being “sexist” and “promoting hatred against all men.” Many women rallied behind Yang Li, promoting a more inclusive and safe environment for females.

Under the post on the Guangzhou metro incident, a comment that received two thousand likes said: “This is why girls feel disgusted with men. They want to interfere with everything, not just limited to their own duty.” Some commenters, however, question how the security guard’s gender can be determined simply based on the screenshot, and whether this in itself is a gender bias.

According to the Counterterrorism Law of China, which went into effect in 2016, the subways are required to do security checks on passengers entering the stations. Guangzhou Metro has rolled out comprehensive security checks since late 2017. The policy was met with opposition from residents, especially from commuters who believed these security checks were useless and time-wasting. Also, since railway companies typically outsource security tasks to external firms, the lack of professionalism on the part of security guards and the lack of accountability became a source of discontent ever since.

The ongoing dissatisfaction towards these mandatory checks might have heightened current discussions on the Guangzhou security guard, leading some people to question the efficiency of the checks in general: “If they wanted to, terrorists could simply target the long line of passengers awaiting security check outside the subway station.”

Others complained about the time wasted waiting in line: “People’s patience is limited. I’ll wait and see when the tension [between passengers and security guards] will deteriorate into physical conflicts.” Then there are those who are dissatisfied with the attitudes exhibited by the security guards: “I saw some security guards who looked like they were middle school students, but they were super arrogant. They should really thank Guangzhou Metro for creating jobs for them.”

Yet there are also people who defend this practice of security checks at stations: “Security checks indeed are unable to eliminate the occurrence of accidents, but just like locking your door, they can pose an obstacle to those who are looking to break the law.”

Following the online controversy, Guangzhou Metro issued a statement in the afternoon of May 7, stating the security guard involved, who worked at the Guangfo Line within Foshan’s jurisdiction, has been identified. The company claimed to have terminated the contract with the guard and reported him to the police.

Later, the blogger posted a few screenshots that showed the security guard apologizing to her, saying that this incident has “created tremendous pressure” for him. The authenticity of the screenshots has not yet been verified at the time of writing.

This isn’t the first time security guards working for Guangzhou Metro are involved in a controversy. Previously, Guangzhou Metro had apologized for asking a girl to remove her Gothic makeup before entering the station. Another security guard was previously dismissed for taking upskirt photos of a woman.

By Bobby Fung (@bobbyfungmr)

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©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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