With innovative services involving the hiring of people to visit your parents already taken, some entrepreneurs have found an untapped way to profit off using people as props. Now, foreigners can be used to report crimes on Chinese locals’ behalves so that they might be taken more seriously by police.
Two pictures featuring advertisements for the scheme, with one of them found on the streets of Hefei, were posted on Sina Weibo.
Translated into English, the first advert read: “Foreigner will report crimes for you: Starting at 200 RMB per month. Retrieve lost items. 100 percent of cases solved.”
The second advertisement read: “Foreigner will report crimes for you: Police take them seriously. The rate of solved cases is high.”
The ploy plays off of the widely-held, and usually true, notion that Chinese police will take foreigner complaints more seriously, especially in locations with few foreigners.
It is perceived among many Chinese people that foreigners are granted special treatment and more attention by the police, and in some cases, for legitimate reasons.
In February 2012, Wuhan city police helped Japanese Kawahara Keiichiro track down his stolen bicycle after his online plight for the return of the bike went viral on Chinese social media.
In the following months, two Beijing police traveled 12 miles on foot to help an American retrieve his escaped horse, while Ningbo police continually searched a trash dump for a Russian’s photo album after it was mistakenly thrown in the trash.
Netizens expressed their concern, with one user saying, “Why is it that when foreigners lose a bicycle, it can be found but when Chinese lose so many children to kidnapping only few can be found?”
So, this leaves one question: who will report the people fake-reporting the crimes?
[Image via: @xiaming]