Online ride-hailing, an emerging industry in China, has become a popular employment option during the economic downturn. A post on social media in China recently, mentions three major changes for drivers in China’s in the industry in the past two years: drivers need to be more educated, more failed investment bosses have become drivers, and there are more female drivers, causing heated discussions / sparking lively discussions.
According to See Hua Daily News, a post on China’s online knowledge platform “Zhihu,” was the answer to a netizen’s question, “Do you feel that China’s national destiny is now on the rise?”
The author of the post points out that in the past two years, there have been three major changes in the ride-hailing service. The first is “more educated drivers.” In the past, many drivers were high school students, the highest with a university degree. There are now many drivers with graduate degrees.
The last time he ordered a car online, he said, the driver was a graduate student with a master’s degree in anthropology from Xiamen University. Seeing that he didn’t believe it, the driver even showed him his previous Xiamen University student card. The author also found the cover of his master’s thesis on his cell phone, and quickly explained: “It’s not that I don’t believe you, it’s just a coincidence that I also have a master’s degree from Xiamen University, and we are both alumni.”
The second big change is that there are many drivers used to be bosses in businesses that had failed. The author of the post pointed out that many owners have opened factories, restaurants, dealerships, and supermarkets but their businesses failed, so they came to Didi (the leader of China’s online ride-hailing platform) and became drivers. A driver said he used to be in the furniture business. At its peak there were more than 30 direct business stores operating throughout the Pearl River Delta.
The author said, for authentication, the driver also mentioned the name of the company, indicating that he was the legal representative and this can be checked online. He said that he couldn’t do furniture business anymore, so he and other people contributed capital to sell tea, still losing money and having a lot of debt. The driver also gave a business card with the words “CEO of XX Tea Company” and said, “If you want to buy good tea, just contact me”.
The third big change is more female drivers. The author of the post said that if you make about 10 calls you will meet one or two female drivers. He has a friend who ordered a car online from Shenzhen airport to drive him home at 2 am. Getting in, he noticed the car was very clean and tidy, even with perfume and a pink pillow. When he looked up, he discovered that the driver was a woman, he exclaimed in surprise, “Female driver?”
Seeing the female driver sigh, the friend quickly explained that he did not discriminate against female drivers, but felt that staying up at night was too hard for the female driver. But she replied, “What can I do? I still have to pay the mortgage and the money for two children to go to school.”
Although this post was later deleted by Zhihu, it went viral on social networks in China.
According to Aboluowang, some Chinese netizens pointed out that there are many drivers of online ride-hailing platforms driving 14 or 15 hours a day. However, before the pandemic, city lockdowns, and bad economy, fewer and fewer people rode, while more and more people drove.
Some netizens said that their neighbor’s restaurant had to close. Because of loans and children’s school fees, she and her husband have to take turns driving. she drives during the day and her husband drives at night. They also take advantage of their free time to sell goods online, but their economic situation is “still very stressful.”