A woman in southern China accused a food delivery driver of assaulting her because he was worried that she would complain her order was two hours late, local media have reported.
The alleged attack happened on Saturday evening, and left the woman covered in blood and needing stitches on her forehead.
“I was so badly beaten that all I could do was kneel on the ground and try to hold up my head,” she was quoted as saying in Southern Metropolis News.
The part-time postgraduate student had ordered a meal through the Ele.me takeaway app at around 6pm from a restaurant 10 minutes away from her shared flat in Haikou, on the island of Hainan.
However, two hours later she was still waiting for the food to arrive.
“While I was waiting, I called the restaurant a few times and the delivery driver was abusive to me over the phone,” said the unnamed woman.
At 8.20pm, the woman went to the restaurant to pick up her food in person, where she was instructed by the delivery driver to wait for him at the shop entrance.
He then became angry when she asked for his name, and demanded to know if she was going to report him for bad customer service.
“He asked me if I was going to report him to the company, then grabbed his car lock and started hitting me on the head,” said the unnamed woman, who graduated this year from Hainan Normal University.
The restaurant owner then intervened and restrained the driver.
The woman called her friends who took her to hospital. She now faces a medical bill of 2,000 yuan (US$300) for treatment to her injuries.
The attack was reported to local police, who were investigating the incident and were looking for the driver.
Representatives from the Ele.me app operating in Haikou told reporters that they were actively cooperating with the investigation.
They said that they had already discharged the delivery driver and had no method of contacting him.
Chinese customers’ appetite for food delivery apps has boomed in the past year, and the market is estimated to grow to US$37 billion next year.
However, the phenomenon has led to a spike in traffic accidents involving delivery couriers.
Last month a television channel in Hunan province reported that a local couple had been attacked by a gang after giving a restaurant a bad review online.
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