CHINA

Why did this bus driver get beaten up?

This footage was recorded by a CCTV camera on a bus in China. The dispute breaks out because of a delay, but Web users think that the attack might have been racist. Warning, you might find the video shocking. Read more and see the video...

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This footage was recorded by a CCTV camera on a bus in China. The dispute breaks out because of a delay, but Web users think that the attack might have been racist. Warning, you might find the video shocking.

On 12 September the local TV channel HBTV aired the video of an ultra-violent attack recorded on the CCTV camera of bus route number 519, a public transport route in Wuhan, Hubei province, central China.

HBTV reported that the argument started because the bus was late, but added that the two attackers and the two girls they were with spoke with an accent from the northeast of the country. The origin of the aggressors is widely discussed on the Internet. Web users from Wuhan, upset about the event, are calling people from the northeast "animals". Others say that the bus driver voluntarily provoked the "strangers" by answering them in the Wuhan dialect.

WARNING, YOU MAY FIND THESE IMAGES SHOCKING.

"I was in the bus when it happened"

On the net, there's another version of events circulating. According to Web users, the video aired on HBTV had been edited. It's thought that the aggressive and confrontational attitude of the bus driver was cut to exaggerate the bestiality of the "Wai dir en" (Chinese people from other provinces) attitude.

That's what's explained in a comment left on the Tianya discussion forum and translated into English by China Smack.

I was in the bus when it happened. Two couples got on. Here's what followed:

One of the men: "Your bus is going at snail pace".

The conductor: "If it's too slow for you, get off; I'm not forcing you to stay".

She then spits out of the window.

One of the girls: "We were only joking".

Conductor: "Joking? But you're just a pair of prostitutes aren't you? Just whores. You know how many men you've had".

The two men stay calm.

The conductor: "Poor devils, you haven't got the money to take a taxi, so you get on here to sell yourselves".

The girls start to react: "What gave you the right to talk like that?"

The conductor stands up and shouts "If you don't like my attitude, then get off the bus!"

Which is when the fight starts.

You have to ask yourself what you'd do, as a man, if you were in the same situation. You'd give a few slaps at least. Maybe it was embarrassment in a crowded bus that led to the outburst. Even if you condemn it, there is a reason behind it."

"It’s true that Wuhan people are racist, but only to people from the countryside"

Anne grew up and studied in Wuhan. She now lives in Paris.

Bus drivers do speak in the Wuhan dialect - many people do. My parent's generation, for example, rarely speak Mandarin. I don't think the woman [the bus driver] was being racist with the two men. It's true that Wuhan people can be racist, but only to people from the countryside. And that doesn't seem to be the case here.

When I was a student I took that bus route a lot, and I remember that the conductors were often quite rude. But you have to put yourself in their place - they repeat the same things a thousand times a day. Taking a taxi doesn't cost much in China, so the people you find in the bus are very poor. They're tired, they argue about sitting down, and it's the conductor who has to sort it all out."