A Beijing driver who infamously threw aside the bicycle of a foreign woman
who had blocked his way has apologized to her on television.
The driver, surnamed Niu, apologized in response to a
barrage of criticism after photographs of the incident were plastered on the
"I must say sorry to the foreign lady. I acted too rashly at that time. I
shouldn't have thrown her bicycle to the ground," Niu said on a popular Beijing
The foreigner stationed her bike in front of the
sedan pulled out into the bicycle in a Beijing street on October 20, 2006.
The incident ocurred after the woman confronted Niu, assuming he had been
driving in a bicycles-only lane. Niu said had not violated any traffic rules.
Traffic police testified that he had been driving on a road of mixed traffic,
open to both cars and bicycles.
The incident had hurt him and his family greatly, said Niu, noting he had
changed his home phone number.
Internet users had bombarded him with phone calls denouncing his behaviour of
Many websites carried photos of the incident. A foreign woman stands in front
of a car, her finger pointing to the centre of the road. The driver, infuriated,
gets out of the car, grabs the woman's bicycle and throws it to the ground.
The pictures were uploaded on October 20 and spread to other websites,
sparking an outpouring of sympathy for the foreigner and denouncements of the
"All netizens please help find the identities of the driver and the foreign
lady," said one posting.
The much-read posting, written by popular blogger Mo Jie, also called on
netizens to denounce the driver.
"We must get him to realize that his behaviour is smearing the country's
image and the face of Beijing," said the posting.
Netizens quickly answered the calls to name the driver, posting his home
phone number and other personal information on the Internet.
Some netizens said the foreign woman worked for an American company near the
scene, but no further information about her was revealed.
"The incident shows two things," says one of the blog articles. "It shows the
Chinese are self-reflecting people and readily accept positive criticism. It
also shows the terrifying power of the Internet, its power to mobilize people
and bare secrets."