CHINA

Angry driver beats up woman in China – Internet users cheer

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Screen grab from second video below.

A case of severe road rage has the Chinese Internet abuzz. Two videos, both filmed by dashboard cameras, show what transpired.

This first video was published on social networks on May 3. It shows two cars stopping on the side of a busy road in Chengdu, in Sichuan province. A man gets out of his car, walks to the other vehicle, and drags a woman out. He knocks her to the ground and brutally beats her, even kicking her in the face. This video drew outrage from Internet users.

WARNING: This video may shock viewers

However, later that day, a second video was published, and the tide of public opinion quickly turned. This video was filmed earlier, before the beating, and shows the woman driving erratically and, at one point, cutting off the man’s car. The man can be heard insulting her; the woman yells back, asking him to pull over.

After this video came to light, many commenters on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, criticised the woman and defended the man’s actions, notably because they believed she had endangered the man’s young son, who was in his car. Some even posted information about the woman, including photos of her, her drivers’ ID number, and records of dozens of past driving violations involving her vehicle. They also accused her of being the daughter of a public official, an allegation her family later refuted.

"I watched the video, and wonder, was she trying to provoke him? Although the man was too brutal, at least she’ll remember the lesson for a long time."

"The woman chased him for hundreds of metres and was clearly provoking him! The man just accepted her challenge and knocked her out."

"If the case is taken to court, will public opinion affect the final sentence? Many people think the woman deserved to be beaten. For my part, I say we should forgive the driver who beat her."

Many posts included obscene insults against the woman, and could not be republished here.

The woman in question was hospitalised with multiple fractures. The man, meanwhile, was arrested and told local media he apologised for his actions. The woman’s father said he would never accept his apology, and planned to take him to court – as well as those who attacked his daughter online.