By Cal Widdall
Shanghai’s dishonest internet users may be punished with restrictions on certain business activities in real life, a senior official announced on Wednesday.
According to Zhang Xuebing, Chief of the Shanghai municipal security bureau, “Those who lied or cheated during online transactions or other online activities may not be eligible to apply for mortgage loans and credit cards.”
Besides applying real-life punishments to online dishonesty, three main strategies will be used to improve the security of conducting online business transactions. Blacklists of illegal sites and fraudulent SMS messages will be made public (along with the offenders’ identities), website founders who go against regulations will have future ventures scrutinised and possibly shut down as a punishment for repeat offending, and e-labels will be provided to sites to prove authenticity and discourage imitators.
However, Zhang failed to mention any punishments for online fraudsters that turn out to look nothing like they do in their pictures.