“Don’t think I’m trying to show off my wealth with this posting,” a businessman wrote. “It’s just I’m so toothless and helpless in the face of current-day society.” (Reuters) This is how an entry for a confession to bribing officials starts on a Chinese website. The writer then describes how he coughed up 3 million RMB to government officials to win contracts and even took an official on a 10-day vacation to Europe. Faced with rampant corruption internet users like that businessman are taking to the net to vent their frustration (and perhaps ease their guilt) for taking part in left-handed dealings with sites like ibribery and 522phone.
“Stop seeking improper gains and promote equal competition, and return to us the dream of a fair China. Please reveal your experiences of paying bribes so embezzlement and corruption have nowhere to hide,” reads the landing page of ibribery. To enter, users click a button that say “I’m going to explode.”
It’s a Chinese clone of an Indian website called ipaidabride and brings together thousands of people who post up their stories of paying bribes to greedy people in positions of power.
Posts might read “Does this count as bribery?”. Some even include photos of the greedy bribe acceptor. One worried husband gave a doctor a red packet with 500RMB inside to make sure the doctor was attentive to his wife while going through labor. He said his friend made the mistake of not giving extra money and his wife had a particularly long and painful birthing process. Dozens of commenters replied saying that they themselves had done that too or known someone who had. “Each time you naively assume you can get something done using regular procedures…the result is you find nothing gets done unless you spend money to settle things,” another frustrated user rants. While none of the claims on the site have been verified, these sites could be a great platform for the battle against anti-corruption.