Two rides, two opposite reactions from Chinese internet users

A video of four construction workers taking off their shirts and putting them on the seat of a taxi so they wouldn’t get it dirty when sitting down has gone viral.

The episode happened in Dezhou, Shandong Province, on August 16. The workers were on their way home after finishing a long day and didn’t want their sweat to get on the seat.

The taxi driver, Di Zhenhong, said he was touched by their kind gesture. He recorded the journey and uploaded the video to Sina Weibo, where it received about 3.4 million views.

“A person’s moral qualities have nothing to do with his or her societal status,” commented one internet user.

Many internet users were impressed by the construction workers, whose behavior was vastly different from that of a man on a high-speed train from Jinan, Shandong Province, to Beijing on Tuesday, which was also filmed and uploaded to the internet.

The man, who seemed to be perfectly healthy, refused to budge from the seat he stole from a female passenger. Moreover, he asked for a wheelchair upon arrival.

In the video, a train attendant asks the man to stand up, but he says he “doesn’t know how” and unashamedly says that the female passenger can take his original seat, which is a few rows away. Eventually, the train crew assigns the female passenger another seat in the business class section.

Even though the man’s face was blurred in the video, he was subjected to China’s infamous “human flesh search engine” (人肉搜索 rénròu sōusuǒ, which is similar to doxing) by furious internet users, and his personal information, including his name, phone number, and WeChat account, was revealed.

By contrast, the Dezhou construction workers don’t have to be worried about being shamed. “Even though some people look less glamorous, they have a beautiful heart,” one internet user said in support of their thoughtfulness. “Some people have a glorious appearance, but their inner heart is ugly.”