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作者: 来源: 日期:2016/9/23 8:52:32

Mystery of China’s ‘ghost’ Uber drivers





It’s not quite Halloween, but an eruption of creepy faces on driver profiles at Uber in China has spooked potential passengers and raised suspicions of an organised attempt to scam the car-booking app.



Some Uber users have booked cars only to be assigned drivers with distorted photos and scary faces, while their trips suddenly begin and end before a car has arrived. In other cases, “ghost” cars appear in the app but never arrive, resulting in false charges.



The incidents come at a time of transition for Uber, which merged its China operations with rival Didi Chuxing in August. The similarity of the “ghost driver” incidents in a number of different Chinese cities over the past month imply an organised attempt to exploit staffing gaps during the handover, experts said.

这些事件发生在优步中国今年8月与竞争对手滴滴出行(Didi Chuxing)合并之后的过渡期间。过去一个月里,中国许多城市里都出现了类似的“幽灵司机”事件,专家表示,这表明有人在有组织地在利用优步中国移交业务期间的人手短缺刷单。广州汽车翻译公司。


Uber said the complaints reflected “individual drivers’ scamming behaviour”, adding that it would “use technology to squelch such behaviour” and block the accounts involved.



Nathy Chen, an Uber customer, had an experience typical of many recent complaints. She booked an Uber car but the driver that accepted had a scary picture. Before she had left her building to meet the car, the driver had already initiated the trip and ended it 30 seconds later, leaving her with a small charge of Rmb9 ($1.40).

优步客户Nathy Chen最近就遇到过典型的“幽灵车”。她下单预定了优步车,但接单司机的头像阴森恐怖。在她下楼等车之前,司机已经开始了行程,并在30秒后结束行程,并收取了9元人民币(合1.40美元)的费用。广州汽车翻译公司。


Uber has been refunding the charges to customers who complain.



It was at night and from the driver’s location I was expecting the driver to arrive very soon. The map showed the driver just passed me, but there was no car around,” said Veaer Wang from Shandong province, who realised the next day he had encountered a ‘ghost driver’ when he saw similar complaints online. “The road was very narrow and there’s no way a car could have passed me without me seeing it.”

来自山东省的Veaer Wang表示,“当时正是晚上,从司机的位置来看,我预计司机将会很快到达。地图显示司机刚从我身边经过,但周围却什么车也没有”。她在第二天看到网上类似的投诉,才意识到自己遭遇了“幽灵司机”。“路非常窄,汽车不可能在我看不到的情况下经过。”


It’s not the first time that Chinese scammers have developed sophisticated means to exploit the car-booking service. Scams were particularly common when both Uber and local rival Didi Chuxing were offering generous subsidies to both passengers and drivers in an effort to gain market share. That battle ended with the merger deal last month, in which each company took a 20 per cent share of the other and Didi acquired Uber’s China operations.


But the recent rash of “ghost drivers” are very different from traditional individual scammers, said one analyst with a leading data group. “They seem to be an organised group with the technical back-up for such incidents, and not without a purpose,” he said. “This is a time of transition for Uber after the merger with Didi. A lot of the team work handover has not been finalised yet, which gives scammers an opportunity to exploit the system.”

但一家领先数据机构的一位分析师表示,最近相继出现的“幽灵司机”与传统的个人刷单者非常不同。“他们似乎是一个有组织的集团,拥有刷单技术支持,而且并非毫无目的,”他表示,“现在是优步与滴滴合并后的过渡阶段。很多团队工作交接尚未完成,这给刷单者提供了一个利用该系统的机会。” 广州汽车翻译公司。


Yin Zuoning, Uber’s chief anti-scamming officer, recently joined Yidao, another car-booking company, contributing to the staffing gaps during the transition.



Since the merger was announced, both companies have reduced the subsidies that in Uber’s case were costing $1bn a year. Uber’s popularity has already begun to fade, with its app on Apple’s Chinese App Store dropping from number one to number 80 among all iPhone apps and fifth place among travel apps.



A similar fade-out occurred after Kuaidi Dache, a top ranking car-booking company before it merged with Didi Dache in February 2015 to form Didi Chuxing.

快的打车(Kuaidi Dache)20152月与滴滴打车合并组建滴滴出行(Didi Chuxing)后也出现了类似的淡出,在合并前,快的打车曾是中国排名第一的约车公司。