China's Uber "Ghost Drivers" Are Scaring the Customers Away for a Profit

Uber Ghost Driver 1 photo
Photo: Twitter
Driving for Uber is seen either as a means of rounding off your income or a way for those who lack the spirit of entrepreneurship to stop working for an employer and become the masters of their working hours.
It's not ideal, but it involves driving a car, so it's not that bad either. Especially since the car doesn't have to be yellow, which would have turned you into one of the lowest forms of human existence: taxi drivers. Since there is no direct monetary interaction between the driver and the customer, traveling with Uber is a lot more civilized and honest than hailing a car on the street using your hand or your whistling skills.

Or at least that's how it should be. People in China, however, have found a way of making some money off the back of the Californian giant, and it's not pretty. They are using profile pictures that are literally horrifying, making them look like they've just dug up through six feet of dirt. Let's just say that if there were ever a Chinese remake of Michael Jackson's Thriller video clip, the makeup team would have no work to do on them.

That seems totally counter-productive, right? Well, yes, it is, but only if you actually care to work. If you're happy with the few yuan you get for a canceled ride, then the ghoulish face is pure gold. And when people see that mug, they almost certainly hit the cancel button. That usually costs them a few US cents, a small enough amount that clients don't bother reporting the driver, Sixth Tone reports.

Still, with the practice spreading, complaints started coming in, and now Uber is aware of the situation and is trying to take action against it. “We have taken immediate actions and banned these reported individual fraud accounts while continuing to investigate and crack down on any fraudulent behavior to protect rider and driver interests," an Uber spokesperson told Quartz.

If you ask us, we'd say they look quite funny, but who knows how we'd see them if we were in a dark alley in Beijing at night, after having a few drinks and repeatedly refusing the invitation to try a wonderful dish of roasted cockroaches and live maggots?

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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