Ant Financial-backed ride-sharing startup Hello Chuxing confirmed with KrASIA on Friday that a woman was robbed by a driver on its hitchhiking platform during a ride to Foshan, Guangdong province.
The woman said the driver suddenly stopped the car, left his seat, and held a cleaver to her throat, according to a video made by and hosted on pearvideo.com.
The driver then demanded that she “lend” RMB 30,000 (USD 4,240) to him. The woman said she did not have so much cash, so the man sliced her face and neck and then instructed her to ask her boyfriend to send the money to him.
The woman’s boyfriend came and rescued her from the driver, who was later arrested by the police.
This was the latest violent criminal case involving China’s hitchhiking platforms, which match passengers with drivers who are heading in the same direction, allowing both parties to cut travel expenses. In the process, the platforms charge commission fees.
Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing platform, was embroiled in a scandal after two women were raped and killed by drivers registered on its hitchhiking platform. Didi suspended this platform in August 2018.
To fill the void left by Didi and to meet actual needs still present in the market, Hello Chuxing launched its own hitchhiking business in more than 300 cities in February.
Hello Chuxing, which was rebranded from bike-sharing platform Hellobike, announced in September that it had acquired over 280 million users in three years, accounting for more than 20% of China’s entire population and marking a major increase from 200 million one year prior.
Hello told KrASIA that the company’s security team has arrived in Foshan to contact the woman who was robbed, and is remaining in the city to provide medical and physical care to her when needed.
The company has condemned the driver’s illegal behavior and has initiated an internal probe on this case. It is also preparing for cooperation with the police.
Hello Chuxing added that since the attack happened with both parties using its platform, the company will shoulder the appropriate responsibility.
A source close to the case told KrASIA that the driver had no previous criminal record.