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滴滴顺风车丑闻会让中国科技公司开始反思自己吗?
Customers Died. Will That Be a Wake-Up Call for China’s Tech Scene?

来源:纽约时报    2018-08-30 07:02



        Huang Jieli, who ran a Chinese ride-sharing business called Hitch, was invited to a wedding in March. One of her drivers was getting married to a woman who had once been his passenger. Thanks, the invitation said, for getting them hitched.        3月,中国共享出行业务“滴滴顺风车”的高管黄洁莉受邀参加了一场婚礼。使用这款软件的一位司机娶了自己的乘客。邀请中说,感谢顺风车让他们相识。
        Didi Chuxing, Hitch’s corporate parent and one of the world’s most successful and valuable start-ups, once cheered these stories of young love. Like so many other Chinese internet companies, Didi explored all kinds of ways to bring in new users, including social networking.        顺风车的母公司滴滴出行是世界上最成功、最有价值的初创公司之一,它曾为这种年轻人的爱情故事欢呼。与其他很多中国互联网公司一样,滴滴也千方百计地吸引年轻用户,包括使用社交媒体。
        So through suggestive ads hinting at hookups through driving, Didi pushed Hitch’s romantic possibilities. In a 2015 interview with the Chinese online portal NetEase, Ms. Huang compared Hitch cars to cafes and bars.        所以,滴滴推出暗示性的广告,示意可以通过搭车来互相勾搭,宣传搭乘顺风车有浪漫的可能。2015年,在接受中国门户网站网易采访时,黄洁莉将顺风车与咖啡馆和酒吧相提并论。
        “It’s a very futuristic and very sexy scenario,” she told NetEase.        “滴滴顺风车是一个非常具有未来感、非常sexy的场景,”她告诉网易。
        Today, that attitude looks careless and incompetent. Two female Hitch passengers in the past three months have been raped and killed by their Hitch drivers, according to the police. Now Ms. Huang is out of a job, Didi is pledging to overhaul its business, Chinese consumers are calling for a boycott and the internet industry is getting a much-needed reminder of the consequences of its actions.        如今,这种态度显得粗心又无能。据警方称,过去三个月中,有两名搭乘顺风车的女性被司机强奸和杀害。现在黄洁莉已经离职,滴滴承诺改革其业务,中国消费者呼吁抵制该公司,互联网行业得到一个非常必要的提醒,去思考其行动所带来的后果。
        It’s a rare moment of self-reflection in China’s internet industry, which has grown to rival Silicon Valley in both size and influence. Two Chinese companies, Tencent and Alibaba, rank among the top 10 publicly listed companies in the world in valuation. Four of the 10 most valuable start-ups are from China, according to CBInsights. One of them is Didi, which ranks second only to Uber.        中国的互联网行业在规模和影响力方面已经堪与硅谷竞争,这是它罕见的自我反思时刻。腾讯和阿里巴巴两家中国公司在估值方面跻身全球十大上市公司之列。根据CBInsights的数据,10家最有价值的初创企业中有四家来自中国。其中一个就是滴滴,它仅次于优步(Uber)。
        The problems aren’t unique to China. Uber has grappled with its own safety issues, while Facebook has belatedly come to terms with how its reach can be misused and abused.        这些问题并非中国独有。优步也在努力解决自身的安全问题,而Facebook则迟迟才承认自己的影响力可能遭到误用和滥用。
        But the potential for abuse in China is severe. Corporations are subject to little scrutiny from state-controlled media until problems spin out of control. Spotty enforcement and slow lawmaking leave the public less protected from exploitation. Chinese people are fixated on their phones, spending four more hours on average a week online than Americans. The industry’s extreme growth — the number of internet users has doubled, to 800 million, in eight short years — has created a culture in which companies prize money over users’ well-being.        但在中国,遭到滥用的可能性非常大。在问题失控之前,公司很少受到政府控制的媒体的审查。执法不力和立法缓慢使公众面对公司剥削时,难以受到保护。中国人沉迷于手机,平均每周在网上花费的时间比美国人多4个小时。互联网用户数量翻了一番,在短短8年内增加了8亿,该行业的极端增长创造了一种文化,在这种文化里,公司把金钱放在用户的利益之上。
        Didi itself admitted this week that it had lost its way. In a statement on Tuesday, it said it would stop using scale and growth to measure its success.        滴滴于本周承认,自己已经迷失了方向。在周二的一份声明中,它表示将不再用规模和增长来衡量成功。
        “In the past few years we forged ahead wildly, riding on aggressive business strategies and the power of capital,” the company said in the statement from Cheng Wei, its chief executive, and Jean Liu, its president. In the face of lost lives, the statement said, “the whole company started to question whether we have the right value system.”        该公司首席执行官程维和总裁柳青在声明中表示,“在短短几年里,我们靠着激进的业务策略和资本的力量一路狂奔。”声明说,面对失去的生命,“全公司开始深刻检视甚至质疑我们的价值观是不是正确的。”
        The Chinese public has asked similar questions. In the aftermath of the two assaults, Chinese media has uncovered dozens of others over the years. It also found past advertisements for Hitch that featured lewd double entendres and other language that could suggest a female passenger might welcome an advance from her male driver.
        中国公众也提出了类似的问题。在这两起袭击事件发生后,中国媒体还发现了几年来其他几十起袭击事件。它还发现,过去顺风车的广告中有猥亵双关语和其他暗示女乘客可能会欢迎男司机挑逗的语言。
        “Truly disgusting, despicable marketing for Didi Hitch that’s all sexual innuendo and all about ‘picking up’ girls,” said Rui Ma, a technology investor who works in both Silicon Valley and China, on Twitter. She added, “Didi are you running a service for sexual predators or a ride hailing app?!”        “对于滴滴顺风车来说,真正令人作呕的卑鄙营销是那些性暗示,以及所有关于‘勾搭’女孩的事情,”在硅谷和中国工作的技术投资人马睿在推特上说。她还说,“滴滴,你是在为性掠夺者提供服务还是经营打车应用程序?!”
        While it wasn’t obvious to female passengers that their drivers might want to hook up, the drivers knew. Until Didi deactivated Hitch, the car-pooling service allowed drivers to share comments with other drivers on the looks of their passengers, leading some male drivers to seek out the ones others had declared attractive.        尽管对女性乘客来说,司机想要勾搭这件事并不明显,但司机们心知肚明。在滴滴下线顺风车之前,这个拼车服务会允许司机与其他司机分享对乘客外表的评价,导致一些男性司机去找那些其他人说有魅力的女性。
        The problem goes well beyond Didi. China has grown so fast that many facets of life — shopping, online banking, transportation — lack the sort of established incumbents common in the West. Tech companies can swoop in and become dominant in those areas. That makes Chinese companies appealing to investors. It also makes them potentially dangerous.        这个问题远超越了滴滴。中国发展得如此之快,生活的许多方面——购物、网上银行、交通——都缺乏老牌企业,就像西方常见的那样。科技公司得以乘虚而入,在这些领域成为主导力量。这让中国公司对投资者来说颇具吸引力,也让它们具有潜在危险。
        My conversations with Chinese tech companies and their investors, including some from the United States, revolve around user growth and the amount of time they can keep users glued to apps. On occasion I asked why they lent their technology to the government for surveillance, or what they thought the social impact might be from the videos, games and endless feeds of mind-numbing information they send to the public. They either gave me blank stares or said their technologies were merely neutral tools.        我与中国科技公司及投资者(包括一些来自美国的投资者)的谈话,围绕着用户增长和它们能让用户粘在应用程序上的时间。有时我会询问为什么他们把自己的技术借给政府用于监控,或是问他们对发给公众的视频、游戏和那些无穷无尽麻痹人大脑的信息对社会造成的影响作何感想。他们要么是茫然地望着我,要么就说他们的技术只是中立的工具。
        Some in China are comparing Didi’s problems to Baidu’s. Sometimes known as the Google of China, Baidu dominates the search business in the country. Two years ago the company was harshly criticized for foisting ads for fake medical treatments on the public. Baidu apologized after each incident came to light, but some Chinese users are still angry at the company.        中国一些人正在把滴滴的问题与百度的问题相提并论。百度有时被称为中国的谷歌,它主导着中国的搜索业务。两年前,这家公司由于向公众强行推广虚假医疗广告而遭到严厉批评。每次事件曝光后,百度都作出道歉,但一些中国用户仍对这家公司感到愤怒。
        “No matter how we complain or criticize, bad companies, be it Didi or Baidu, simply won’t change,” Ye Ying, editor of The Art Newspaper China, wrote on her WeChat timeline. “I’ve stopped using Baidu long time ago. Should I delete the Didi app as well?”        “无论抱怨还是谴责,坏公司依然如故,滴滴、百度莫不如此,”《艺术新闻》中文版主编叶滢在微信朋友圈中写道。“百度早就不用了,滴滴也卸载了吗?”
        The scandal also exposes a wider industry problem with sexism. Tencent apologized last year after a video emerged of a corporate event that featured female employees trying to open water bottles tucked between men’s legs. Two years ago, Alibaba’s finance affiliate, Ant Financial, pulled a new social feature on its app that led to women posting suggestive photos of themselves to attract rich men. Some tech companies have posted job ads only for men. One of them was Didi.        这场丑闻也暴露了一个更广泛的行业性别歧视问题。去年,在一则显示女员工尝试打开夹在男性双腿间水瓶的年会视频浮出水面后,腾讯作出道歉。两年前,阿里巴巴下属的蚂蚁金服撤下了应用程序上的一个社交功能,该功能会让女性发布自己带有暗示性的照片,吸引有钱男性。一些科技公司发布的招聘广告仅招男性,其中就包括滴滴。
        Even with women in top jobs, the industry can’t seem to shake the attitude. Ms. Liu is probably China’s most prominent female technology executive.        即使是有女性高层,这个行业似乎仍然无法甩掉这种态度。柳青可能是中国最有影响力的女科技高管。
        Hitch’s suggestive strategy was overseen by Ms. Huang. In one corporate video the company compared her to Hua Mulan, the female warrior of ancient China, and promoted her as a skilled executor of the company’s vision. The video’s English title is “Lean In, Jelly,” using her English name.        顺风车暗示性的策略由黄洁丽负责。在一则企业视频中,这家公司将她比做中国古代女战士花木兰,并且将她作为公司愿景经验丰富的执行者进行宣传。这则视频的英文标题是“Lean In, Jelly”(向前一步,杰利),用了她的英文名。
        The question now is whether Didi, and executives in the rest of the industry, can root out those attitudes to protect users.        如今问题在于,滴滴和这个行业的其他高管是否能根除这些成见,保护用户。
        “Without the interference of a value system, the vast majority of them will choose their job performances over users’ safety,” wrote Feng Dahui, a former Alibaba executive and industry critic, in a WeChat post. “This is the ethical dilemma of most internet elites.”        “没有价值观层面的干预,绝大多数人会选择完成自己的KPI,用户死活跟他个人没关系,”前阿里巴巴高管、行业批评者冯大辉在微信上写道。“这是中国互联网行业大多数精英的道德困境。”
                
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