China: Uber driver arrested after molesting female passenger

On Wednesday, Chinese police arrested an Uber driver accused of robbing and molesting a female passenger.

The latest incident happened several weeks ago when a 42-year-old woman hailed an Uber car at about 2 am in Chengdu, in the western province of Sichuan. The driver suddenly stopped the car in a city tunnel and pulled a knife on the woman. At knife-point, taxi driver robbed her of more than 5,000 yuan in cash and then drove to the outskirts of town.

The alleged driver molested the woman, took photos of her and warned her he would make the pictures public if she went to the police. She took about two weeks before reporting the attack. The suspect was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of robbery and “forcible molestation of a woman.

Recent shameful acts in India and China have damaged Uber’s reputation and sparked both public and regulatory backlashes against online car-hailing services. In China, the ride-sharing company came under the spotlight in June when a driver was detained for sexually assaulting a drunk female passenger who used an app to hire a car.

San Francisco-based company is under fire again for its drivers allegedly sexually assaulting female passengers. This incident raises the question about the safety of the ride-hailing service in one of the Uber’s fastest growing market. This is the second reported case of sexual assault by an Uber driver in China in the last couple of months.

Uber is a smartphone app, which connects passengers with drivers for their convenience. The world’s largest ride-hailing service was founded in 2009. Since then Uber has expanded across the world and now has drivers in 60 countries. However, lawmakers and government regulators have routinely criticized the company about the safety of its service. IMAGE/Reuters

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