Millions of truck drivers help power China’s manufacturing and retail sectors. Photo: STR / AFP
At lunch time on Monday, 51-year-old driver Jin Deqiang got a devastating message from traffic police: he needed to pay a 2,000 yuan ($305) fine because the navigation device on his truck was not working.
The government uses the device, commonly called Beidou (named after China’s satellite navigation system) and installed inside the driver’s cab, to monitor the country’s millions of long-distance trucks, ostensibly to prevent traffic accidents. But the requirement has annoyed drivers who, like Jin, face hefty fines when the device breaks down.
Frustrated with the fine, Jin took his own life in protest.
“It’s not that my life is worth…