Taxi Driver Tale of President Xi Jinping’s Incognito Ride Causes Stir; “If you take a cab, you’ll hear about lots of pressing problems.”

Taxi Driver Tale of Xi Jinping’s Incognito Ride Causes Stir

A taxi driver’s claim that he gave President Xi Jinping a ride last month was one of the most popular topics on China’s Internet today, with readers comparing it to the secret trips made by emperors centuries ago.

“Has anyone ever told you that you look like General Secretary Xi?” the driver, Guo Lixin, told his fare last month, according to a story today in Hong Kong’s Ta Kung Pao newspaper. “You are the first taxi driver to recognize me,” the passenger was quoted as replying.

The account in the pro-Beijing Ta Kung Pao was dubbed a tale of “weifu sifang,” or “traveling incognito,” a phrase used to describe emperors’ secret excursions in China’s dynastic period. In an indication that the story was sanctioned by China’s censorship apparatus, it was posted on the official website of the Beijing government and, published under the State Council Information Office.

“Every provincial and country leader should learn from Xi Jinping,” entrepreneur Xue Manzi wrote to his 11 million followers on Sina Corp.s’ (SINA) Weibo service today. “If you take a cab, you’ll hear about lots of pressing problems.”Guo said two men hailed him around 7 p.m. in downtown Beijing on March 1 and asked him to go to the Diaoyutai Hotel. As they chatted along the way, Guo realized who he was talking to and told him that while the Communist Party’s policies are good, they’re not implemented well. Xi thanked him for his faith in the party, Ta Kung Pao said.

Keep Change

Guo complained about the city’s pollution and was told that smog is easy to produce but hard to clean up, Ta Kung Pao said. According to Guo’s story, Xi paid 30 yuan ($4.85) for a 27-yuan ride and told the driver to keep the change.

“Best wishes,” Guo’s passenger wrote on the back of a fuel-surcharge receipt, the newspaper said. The State Council Information Office didn’t immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.

Chinese state media have highlighted Xi’s populist bona fides since he became Communist Party general secretary in November. The Xinhua News Agency published a profile of him in December under the headline “Xi Jinping: Man of the People, Statesman of Vision.”

“Media reports remarked that Xi is a leader who brings a fresh breeze to the country’s political life,” the Xinhua story said.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Tian Ying in Beijing at; Xin Zhou in Beijing at

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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