A Chinese online delivery and ride-hailing platform has got its drivers barking mad after changing its name to Fast Dog, with many complaining that they now are on the receiving end from customers of the ultimate Chinese insult – calling a person a canine.
The company, previously known as 58 Suyun, has sought to explain last week’s name change, after a video emerged online showing dozens of drivers in the central city of Zhengzhou protesting outside the local branch, carrying banners saying “We want dignity! We are not dogs! ”
In the video, several drivers said the new name has caused many customers to leave abusive remarks when requesting service via the company’s app, such as “Quickly send a dog to pick up my goods!”
“Calling people dogs is insulting. It’s different with other animals.” one driver said. “Why does it have to be a dog? It can be other animals, like a tiger or a wolf. ”
Others said they felt humiliated that they had to introduce themselves as working for Fast Dog.
The company said in a Monday statement that dogs are known for being reliable and trustworthy, and that the name change had caused some misunderstanding among drivers and customers.
“Kuai Gou (Fast Dog) is just the name of our app, which is a platform designed for cargo transport, house moving, and deliveries. Other than being the name of the app, it has no [negative] semantic implication.”
“By using the name, we want to let people know that we are a fast, reliable and trustworthy platform for freight logistics and ride hailing,” it said.
Separately, Cui Wenyang, a spokesman for the Zhengzhou branch, said the name change was aimed at “upgrading the company’s brand”.
The company is the freight business unit of 58 Home, a subsidiary of New York-listed 58.com. It merged with Hong Kong on-demand delivery service GoGoVan last August, bringing its valuation to US$1 billion. Notable investors include e-commerce giant Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao, and InnoVision Capital.
After the merger, Kuai Gou has more than one million registered drivers and nearly eight million users in six countries and regions in Asia, including Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, and India, according to the company.
Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.
This article Who are you calling a dog? Chinese delivery firm’s name change has drivers barking mad first appeared on South China Morning Post