uber shanghai

Uber Driver in Shanghai Arrested for Earning Money on Non-Existent Passengers

Awaiting formal charges

A Shanghai man is being detained by police amid accusations he defrauded Uber of 90,000 yuan ($14,000) for bonuses he “earned” by reporting non-existent passengers. Uber says one of its drivers, Wang, hacked cellphones and multiple numbers to book taxi rides, culminating in some 50 fake passenger and driver accounts.

In a statement, Uber said it suspected Wang of fraud because he had logged so many more work hours than his peers. “The accounts were registered … with fake information, and the records of the trips from those accounts looked dubious,” said Uber.

Wang has yet to be formally charged by police.

This past June, a report by Tencent (a financial backer of Uber’s competitor, Didi Kuaidi) suggested that millions of booked Uber rides were faked by its drivers in order to qualify for subsidies.

Tech in Asia made the argument that this type of fraudulent behavior may have been beneficial to Uber (at the time):

On the one hand, it is essentially being stolen by “drivers” who aren’t actually taking passengers anywhere. But on the other hand, the increased rides count that all of these fake drivers provide helps bolster Uber’s China stats when it’s looking for investment – like it is right now.

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor