Stolen Mobile Phone Revealed Bribes Paid To Local Officials

A photo of the email messages still inside a stolen Chinese mobile phone.

From HSW, Mop, & People Liaoba:

Shangluo Vehicle Administration Examiner’s income is this high

A few days ago my cellphone broke. Originally I’d planned on buying a new one, but luckily on the 4th when I was having fun at the plaza, a skinny young guy asked me if wanted a cellphone.  As soon as I saw him I knew this guy was either a thief or a junkie.  After taking a look at the phone I thought it wasn’t bad and asked how much.  The guy said 300 yuan, I directly replied, “100 yuan, if you want to sell I can give you the cash immediately.”  They young guy thought it over, then said, “Okay!”

Just like that, my 100 yuan bought a pretty good cellphone!

That night I was at home getting familiar with the phone’s capabilities, and then discovered there were several text messages.  After seeing them I was really shocked.

The content of the texts involved giving and receiving bribes.  After looking carefully….oh shit!

Even I felt like going to work for the Vehicle Administration.

Let me show everyone some pictures:

A photo of the SMS text messages still inside a stolen Chinese mobile phone.

[Above:  Text message inbox and email inbox on the mobile phone.]

The inbox had text messages, and there was also one sent message in “Sent”.

(This is the inbox) This person is called “Wang Chao”, whom I’ve heard of before. I think he’s the boss of Qiao Shida Driving Academy.

A photo of the email messages still inside a stolen Chinese mobile phone.

[Above: A message in the inbox.]

The owner of the mobile phone is likely to be a worker under Wang Chao.   This is the message Wang Chao sent to the cell phone’s owner.

It is to have him go give bribes to the Vehicle Administration.

A photo of the SMS text messages still inside a stolen Chinese mobile phone.

[Above: “Prepare this year’s New Year’s gifts for the Vehicle Administration, in accordance with the same guidelines as last year. All the people we normally use must get gifts, while those we don’t have a use for can be excluded. Deal with this matter within the next 2 days.  The money you can first take from the office, the accounts will be dealt with afterward.”]

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(This was the already sent message)  This is probably the cellphone owners reply message to Wang Chao, seems as if the matter has been taken care of, and he’s reporting back!

A photo of the SMS text messages still inside a stolen Chinese mobile phone.

[Above: “The matter you delegated yesterday I have already…”]

Sure enough, the matter was taken care of! Fuck, when I saw the numbers within I couldn’t help but be a little shocked.

A list of bribes paid to various people in a stolen mobile phone in Shaanxi, China.

[Above: “Principal Wang:  The matter you delegated yesterday I have already completed.
Captain Li, 10000 yuan
Commissar Zheng, 10000 yuan
Li Shi An, 8000 yuan
Fu Zhong, 8000 yuan
Nie Ya, 5000 yuan
Yang Wei, 5000 yuan
Huang Ping, 5000 yuan
Bai Bo, 5000 yuan
Guo Qiang, 5000 yuan“]

A list of bribes paid to various people in a stolen mobile phone in Shaanxi, China.

[Above: “Everyone in the main office were given 500 yuan each. The money was all personally delivered by myself, none of them know about each other. Tomorrow I have a matter to attend to, and would like to request a day off, for a trip back home.”]

After reading these messages I felt very uncomfortable for a long time.  The people of the Vehicle Administration, your new year’s gifts were truly abundant!

Having said that, this money isn’t going to make these bastards rich, but suddenly I thought, “ShangLuo doesn’t just have one single Qiao Shida driving school!”

I counted over and over, there are at least 15 driving schools in Shangluo.

15 driving schools, and if every one of these driving schools gave gifts [bribes] like this, my god, now I too want to work for the Vehicle Administration, even if I is to just sweeping the floors. [Because even then I] could still get some easy money.

These were gifts for Spring Festival alone. If someone in the family of someone in the Vehicle Administration were to have an accident, wouldn’t that mean they’d be counting money [bribes] until their fingers hurt [from “get well” gifts]? Would Dragon Boat Festival,  Mid-Autumn Festival, all those random festival also get these kinds of gifts?

If that examiner’s family had an unfortunate accident then wouldn’t the driving schools have to send a bundle of cash as a gift!

If we went to the Vehicle Administration and got in for a year, I estimate we won’t become millionaires, but but a few hundred thousand would still make life a lot more relaxed and pleasant!

This really is the sadness of us people of Shangluo, and the disgrace of the Shangluo traffic department.

Comments from HSW:

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Traffic Police System Linkage:

Parking lot accident —– Traffic Police Department
Repair shop —— Insurance Company
Driving school —– Vehicle Administration
Tow Truck —– Upper level Traffic Police
Where do you NOT have to send money?!?!?


Open Letter of Apology
To the Shangluo Vehicle Administration, Qiao Shida Driving Academy, and netizens:

On 2011 February 7th at 1PM I in youthful ignorance fabricated false information about Qiao Shida Driving Academy giving gifts to the Shangluo traffic police Vehicle Administration department’s personnel, without considering that after publishing this post that doing would damage the image of the Shangluo traffic police and the reputation of the Qiao Shida Driving Academy in society.

This incident has made me regret my own ignorance and selfish fun, and today I sincerely offer to the Shangluo traffic police Vehicle Administration division personnel, Qiao Shida Driving Academy principal Wang Chao, and the many internet users users a public apology, to eliminate this negative impact, and at the same time sincerely ask the Shangluo traffic police Vehicle Administration division personnel, Qiao Shida Driving Academy principal Wang Chao, and netizens for their forgiveness.

Through this incident of publishing fabricated information, I have learned a deep and painful lesson, recognized my own mistakes, and I’ve resolved from today onward to sternly push myself to be an honest citizen. Finally, I want to say again that I’m sorry!

Geili Shangluo
2011 February 11th, 2PM

Comments from Mop:


Hidden rules [unspoken rules], you guys understand!


Everyone come and repost this, the anti-corruption department can’t control this, news monitors can’t control this, so let us rabble do something about it! Truly TM lamentable, power all rented out [for bribes]. Add if they add a real name internet registration system, how are people going to survive/live?


The Traffic Police Department is so corrupt!!! In every city, they are the ones who make the most money.

Comments from People Liaoba:

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This is just the “holiday fee”, as normally it is 500-800 yuan per person for the “written test”, while for other tests everyone pays 200 yuan.  The cigarettes test-takers give every day number over 20 packs, with any cigarettes that cost less than 40 yuan or less being immediately thrown out the window. These [Vehicle Administration] examiners wouldn’t even trade places with county-level Party secretaries.


You guys are really boring, if you have the ability, then go think of a way to get a job with the Vehicle Administration, you’re all so jealous/envious. I work in Vehicle Administration, do you know how many people I owe for getting into the Vehicle Administration, how many respects I’ve paid, how much money I’ve given? I’ll tell you honestly. Back then [when trying to get in], including treating people to meals, giving gifts, etc. I spend over 800,000 yuan. After getting in, if I didn’t work my ass off to find money wherever I could, I would’ve been financially ruined. However, having said that, after being here for three years, I’ve already collected over 3 million yuan, and I’m just an ordinary staff worker. Our leaders’ [managers’] 3 year income is probably around 7 million. We also have our difficulties too, every year having to take out several hundreds of thousands of yuan to give to the leadership [those above].


Corruption. I work for one year and can’t even earn 10,000.


The public security [police] are too corrupt, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection [an anti-corruption government department] should intervene to investigate and severely punish the scum.

Have you ever bribed someone?

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  • foreigner

    I don’t understand, is it fake or real ? What about the letter of apology… ?

    • Stu

      The ‘letter of apology’ is probably fake (why post it online?). But I’d bet the original content is also fake. The story’s far too convenient, with all the bribes neatly laid out in a text message…

      Plus, doesn’t the mobile screen show only 2 received messages and 1 sent message? Why would it only contain so few, and only those dealing with bribery?

      • Stu

        In fact, just to add to the unlikely coincidences… the guy who gets the phone magically ‘has heard of’ this Wang Chao, despite the fact that in any given city there will be a lot of people with this name.

        Likely explanation: this is a dude who failed his driving test.

  • cdn icehole

    Have you ever bribed someone?

    Yes. In cases of beer to a local bike mechanic.

    • Andy

      I once had to bribe the guys from the transportation department back in my home town when I got caught using my brother’s student card when getting on the bus. They were basically asking for the bribe though, saying “Well there are two ways we can handle this, one is confiscating the card and taking you to the police station, and the other one you can try thinking of yourself”, so I gave them about $20 and they let me off saying “don’t it again”. :D

  • nereis

    I had no idea things were this bad. Jesus H Christ.

  • McCurry

    The most corrupt department is probably the anti-corruption department in China.


    • Irvin

      There’s no anti-corruption department in china.

      • anon

        Actually, there is. And it wouldn’t be surprising if it were corrupt!

        For example, the AQSIQ is a regulatory body that monitors things like food safety and quality. Remember the melamine scandal a few years back (reported here too) in China? AQSIQ’s failures in doing its job could be blamed on corruption like bribing inspectors to turn a blind eye or be lenient. It’s anti-corruption (corruption in food, products, etc.) but it’s also corrupt. It’s just like corruption in the FBI frankly. Sad but true.

  • Song of the Article,

    Call Me
    -From Cowboy Bebop

    just say NO to D&B (drinking n blogging)

    cool article


  • ##BlothaLonely##

    what was the phone that he bought for 100 bucks?
    how much is a iPhone?

    • That was my thought too… where can I find these junkies selling phones for that cheap?!

      • ##BlothaLonely##

        I see them quite often in front of subway stations like xujiahui, zhang jiang, luziazui in SH etc.. But, they are not worth even talking.. I heard you cold get a good deal in SH railways station cell phone market.

  • guizi

    I dont know if this is true or not. That apology letter is also strange. But I guess this is not true. First, the phone only three email messages. Second, the bribe is too big. How come driving school can have such much money. Just my guess, though.

    • McCurry

      It aren’t a driver’s school, it is Vehicle Administration. huge difference

      • guizi

        I mean, lots of money to bribe. The driving school gives 610000 plus 500*N yuan for the New Year. So perhaps around 2million yuan a year. I think its big for a driving school.

      • Bo Wang

        McCurry: Eh? The driving school is doing the bribing. The Vehicle Admin is receiving the bribes.

        guizi: It’s 61,000+500*n… not 610,000+ rmb. If this is just an annual thing, ~70,000 in bribe money isn’t unreasonable for a driving school. Never took a driving school in China, but I suppose the school gets bribes too to “take care” of the student? (i.e. use connections to get them their license)

        • Anazei

          If this is true, then the cost will always carry down to the lowest common denominator: the driving students.

          If they all have to put out these lavish bribes to get a license, so the school can help them secure a passing test so that the vehicle admin staff can all return favours for their jobs by paying their tributes to the top man, that means all the wealth is being channeled to just a few individuals at the very top while everyone at the bottom of the pyramid has to fork over all their savings.

          I thought that was what the idea of socialism was supposed to eliminate? And China wants to modernize and increase the standard of living for the entire nation…

          The Russians have a saying: “The fish rots from the head” – it comes from the top, the nation won’t change if the leadership won’t budge.

    • Chris

      This is true.

      I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of ass kissing and bribes when I visited China. My uncle is the head to the heart and lung related departments of a major hospital which means he has contacts with most of the upper level personnel in the medical field. Bribing is the way of life in China, not just limited to vehicle administration.

      Lets just say, I was treated to free dinner every day in China by different people at all of the most expensive restraunts during my stay. With wine and “lobster” and etc. (I guess its some really expensive dish though I think its pretty gross) And given free rides around town in nice cars.

      And people trying to make conversation with me. Especially since I’m easier to strike conversation with than my uncle. My uncles just kinda eats and stuffs his face with the free food. Sometimes having 2-3 dinners a night at different expensive restaurants being “treated” by different people. Oh and of course, theres some “red envelope” passing and etc. The bills for each dinner is easily over $100 USD (or around 1000RMB)

      Its funny to watch. These respectable looking people with nice clothing and clean shaven (sunday dress) kissing up to my uncle. Who doesn’t really care about anything but eating. And wears old torn clothing and has no manners. (I’d imagine he dresses up nicely when its his turn to ass kiss. BBUUTTT)

  • Again, another Rule 3 issue – with a reputation so questionable to begin with, all sorts of rumors (or truths) can be spread out, and the people will assume the worse.

  • deputamadre

    The letter of apology is sarcastic. I guess Chinese have sarcasm too . I think it’s supposed to emulate the letters that Chinese had to write during the Cultural Revolution.

    • guizi

      You are great, very knowledgeable about China. I did not know the letter is mocking the style of the letter during the Cultural Revolution. By your comment, we can understand this article and Chinese comment better. Are you Chinese or foreigner? But to me most Chinese posters here are very disappointing. They dont give us such useful information, but always defend China saying other countries are the same or dont generalize.

      Why are there so many Chinese here in the first place? It seems almost half posters are Chinese or overseas Chinese.

      • anon

        Um, the website deals with China and Chinese people. LOL why wouldn’t there be so many Chinese or overseas Chinese here?

        • guizi

          Ah, ok, you are right. I kind of started to think they are annoying. They dont contribute to the site, but only defend China using the same logic again and again.

          Anyway, I think mainland Chinese want to read foreigners comments, right? But what about overseas Chinese? They know what kind of ideas do foreigners have on China. So why are they here?

          • anon

            Which commenters are you talking about? I vaguely recall you getting into an argument with one commenter who said he was Chinese but that’s about it. Who was it? Sunshine? I forget.

            I don’t really agree with you that the Chinese commenters only defend China using the same logic again and again. In fact, recently there was one commenter who openly said he was ethnic Chinese but only had criticisms of China.

            Overall, my personal impression differs from yours. I’ve seen both Chinese and foreigners criticize and defend China and I’ve seen both good and bad criticisms and defenses.

            I actually think there aren’t that many mainland Chinese reading this website (relative to foreigners and overseas Chinese), much less commenting, because of language issues. Every so often you’ll get someone who appears to be a mainland Chinese person but I’d say that’s pretty rare and they don’t really say anything of substance, again because of the language barrier.

            I do however believe there are a lot of overseas Chinese reading and commenting here, which isn’t surprising because 1) they’re predisposed to be interested in stuff relating to China and 2) they’ve usually picked up or grew up fluent in English to communicate here.

            You ask why overseas Chinese would be here if they know what kind of ideas foreigners have of China. That’s a strange question and I’m not sure if I’m understanding you correctly. This website is an entertainment website that translates and shares what’s popular on the internet in China along with some reactions by Chinese netizens into English. A lot of overseas Chinese, especially those who were born or grew up abroad aren’t actually literate in Chinese but may be interested in stuff about China. This website caters to that interest. I don’t think overseas Chinese come here to learn what foreigners think about China because this website isn’t about what foreigners think of China.

            But the comments section is a place for foreigners (or anyone) to react to the posts. I don’t think it is surprising or strange for overseas Chinese people to react to the comments they see. That’s what the comments section is for, for people to discuss the content of the post (and sometimes go off topic). People have opinions, they share them, and others respond.

          • guizi

            > Which commenters are you talking about?

            I am not talking about one particular poster. My anger is toward many Chinese here in general. But anyway I think I was too angry and made some stupid remarks like “only” or “always”. There is no such thing as people only do that or always do this.

            After starting reading this site, I have found that this site have lots of Chinese, but thought they usually don’t explain about China and they are rather busy defending China. And today I read a comment saying the letter of apology was a mockery. This is a great contribution. I just thought why Chinese people don’t contribute like this. I want to know why the entrepreneur had such a big funeral, whether the bribe scandal is real or fake, and so on. But Chinese people here don’t explain.

            About overseas Chinese. You seem to be saying that they are mostly foreign born Chinese and not so good at Chinese. That is a rather disappointing, if it is true. I am rather new to here, so I don’t know.

            > This website caters to that interest.

            Yeah, this site is interesting. But there is one disappointing thing. Readers’ interests often go towards simple China bashing. Yes, that funeral was surprisingly big, and I understand you want to say Chinese people are doing this out of vanity or something. But isn’t it also fun to guess why they are doing this. Unfortunately, there were not many comments like this.

            > I don’t think overseas Chinese come here to learn what foreigners think about China because this website isn’t about what foreigners think of China.

            Perhaps you are misunderstanding. What I said was that they don’t need to come here to read foreigners comment and that so I don’t know why they are here.

          • anon

            Like I said, I don’t get the same impression as you do about this site having a lot of Chinese. I’m sure it is safe to say that there are a lot (likely overseas Chinese) as readers, but in the comments section, I don’t really see a lot of Chinese people. I see some, but I don’t feel like they are overrepresented.

            What kind of explanations about China are you looking for from Chinese commenters here? I don’t feel like there are a lot of China defenders here. I personally think there are more people here criticizing China than defending China.

            The open letter of apology I thought was pretty obviously fake and satire. If you look at the original Chinese, they were posted by different people. Maybe even the Chinese commenters here aren’t sure if it was real or fake. Maybe the Chinese commenters here don’t know why that Zhejiang guy held such a large funeral. I’m not sure why you think Chinese people have an explanation for these things. What you’re reading in English is translated from what mainland Chinese netizens are reading themselves. The point of this site was to make some of what Chinese people see accessible to English readers.

            I’m not sure why it is disappointing that an English website about China would have a lot of overseas Chinese who aren’t the most literate in Chinese. It should be obvious. Why would mainland Chinese netizens who can read Chinese visit this website to get their news about what’s popular on the Chinese internet? That doesn’t make sense. Do you go to an English website about Japan like to talk to Japanese people? No, because most of the readers and commenters there are foreigners or overseas assimilated Japanese people. Your entire expectation seems to be mistaken.

            Yes, this website facilitates a lot of China bashing and that’s to be expected. The news this site translates are popular often because they are sensational. You’re always going to get critical people and this website has plenty. But again, I’m not sure why you expect any definitive answers from specifically Chinese people about things like “why did he have such a big wedding?” The Chinese netizens themselves don’t know for certain either, and you can tell from the translated comments. They too were bashing the entrepreneur, saying he should’ve spent the money on other things, that it was excessive or tacky. Some praised him or defended him. We see different sides in the comments that were translated.

            What this website often does is translate a piece of news that Chinese people themselves are paying attention so that English readers can understand as well. Then they translate a selection of the comments so us English readers can understand a bit of the reactions that Chinese people have to that news. We then take what we can from that and discuss as we will.

            I’m not understanding what you say I am misunderstanding. If you’re saying Chinese people don’t need to come here to read foreigner comments and thus questioning why they are here, I’m saying they aren’t here to read foreigner comments and they’re here for other reasons. If you’re referring to people who defend China in the comments here, it is because they want to. They maybe disagree with you on something. But that doesn’t mean they’re here to read foreigner comments. Let me know if I’m still misunderstanding your statement. You seem to have genuine questions and I’m just trying to answer them as best I can.

          • guizi

            Firstly I make myself clear. I am not here to talk to Chinese people. I regularly visit Baidu to see Chinese comments and ask Chinese comments, I go there more often than here.

            After starting posting here, I found that there are many Chinese people. I did not expect that. Actually I found many of them around my posts. So I thought there are many. One Chinese guy taught me the usage of laotou, which is great, and I fought against another Chinese descendant. Then I saw lots of fights and I saw some Chinese there defending China. Then there were other topics like marriage, funeral, tomb, bribes and so on in which there are some unknown things to me. I asked question but in vain. It seemed that other people also have questions. I started to think why Chinese people here don’t give any explanation, hint, or their guessing. Then there was that comment saying the letter of apology was mockery of Cultural Revolution era. I guessed the poster is a foreigner. So, I thought Chinese posters here are rather disappointing. What I have seen were little contributions, lots of fighting. This is disappointing to me.

            > What kind of explanations about China are you looking for from Chinese

            If they can, I want their explanation, hint, or guessing about anything like bribe case, funeral, marriage from their perspective and knowledge. I don’t and cannot expect perfect answer, and this is of course not obligation. But I think even guessing games are interesting and make the site more fun. Of course foreigners should also do the same.
            It seems that you think Chinese here are more or less the same as other foreigners regarding their knowledge. Maybe so, maybe not. but still I expect them, as some Chinese posters here seem to know well about China.

            > I’m not sure why it is disappointing that an English website about China would have a lot of overseas Chinese who aren’t the most literate in Chinese.

            My disappointment is on their little contributions and much fighting.

            Anyway, about overseas Chinese, I imagined they are those who were raised in China but later went to foreign countries to study. In Baidu there seem to be lots of them. And in Japanese website, I have seen some though not many. But in these sites there are very few overseas Chinese who were born and raised in foreign countries, this is my impression. I don’t remember any in Japanese websites. Chinese people born in Japan can speak Japanese, so there must be some on Japanese websites, but no impressions. And Chinese people who appear on TV are also not them. In Japan, Chinese people who were born in China can be seen everywhere, they use Japanese language and do everything.

            I don’t know what kind of overseas Chinese are here on chinasmack, but I am new to here and you say that they are mostly those born in foreign countries, they must be so.

            I also explain another disappointment I wrote before. You say that they cannot read Chinese well, so they come here. To me, it is rather disappointing if it is true. I understand the difficulty of foreign language, I too had used lots of time to study. So, I understand they come this English site. But I have long envied those who have foreign parent. They have more chance to easily master two languages and cultures. I think both of them are important. Without one of them they cannot understand one of parents’ cultures and languages. I think this is disappointing.

            > It should be obvious. Why would mainland Chinese netizens who can read Chinese visit this website to get their news about what’s popular on the Chinese internet? That doesn’t make sense.

            I don’t understand why you ask such thing to me. I don’t expect mainland Chinese come here. I posted a question why there are so many Chinese in the first place. It clearly explains my surprise over their existence. Also as above, my disappointment is on a different thing, so your question of this does not make sense to me.

            > Do you go to an English website about Japan like to talk to Japanese people?

            No. I go baidu to talk to Chinese. I don’t come here to talk to Chinese. If you are thinking that I am coming here to talk to Chinese and therefore you ask such. You are mistaken. My disappointment is on a different thing.

            > No, because most of the readers and commenters there are foreigners or overseas assimilated Japanese people. Your entire expectation seems to be mistaken.

            You seem to think that I come here to talk to Chinese and to get info about China, but I could not get such info, so I was disappointed. No, my disappointment is different.

            > I’m not understanding what you say I am misunderstanding.

            Sorry, this part, I misunderstood you. You gave an answer that they are not good at Chinese, so they come here. I understand your answer. Actually very simple.

  • Dr. Dust Cell

    Holy Shit!

    I must study hard in order to be someone worth bribing in the future!

  • kay

    this is a weird posting… funny they have to make up news to gossip about it. sofa!

    • Anazei

      lol, far too late, my friend

      • kay

        no one called it??

        • Bo Wang

          I don’t think it works that way, bro.

          • anon

            LOL, kay has heart though.

  • Anazei

    Still providing tribute to each other in the 21st century?

    China’s like an organized mob without the violence. Just cold shoulders, character and career assassination.

    I’d probably starve to death in China. I am only capable of living in honest transparent societies.

    • anon

      Poor and developing countries are more or less all like this. It’s extremely demoralizing. That said, there are no real honest transparent societies if you look hard enough. What country do you live in?

      • Anazei

        I live in Canada. I’ve been to China twice and have done business there over the past year. Begin human beings, I won’t ever expect perfect honesty all the time but my first business experiences in Guangdong province were horrible because of the accepted culture of dishonesty I encountered there.

        It’s interesting to note that Hong Kong consistently ranks as the second easiest place to do business while mainland China ranks somewhere around 86th place in the ease of doing business index.

        I don’t think that the Chinese people are corrupt as individuals but as a culture I think that China has been through a long vicious historical cycle of corruption that only spawns more corruption echoing back centuries to when Europe was still in the dark ages.

        I understand that China has always blamed foreigners for trying to take advantage of the nation from the Europeans to the Japanese to the Americans but that’s because foreigners have always seen China as corrupt, weak and constantly fighting amongst themselves.

        Historically, China’s dynasties have always collapsed not because of the strength of external forces but internal infighting which caused the external forces to enter and take over ranging from the Mongols, Manchurians to the British and Japanese. China is probably the most historically conquered nation in the world. It’s the same with the Roman Empire being overrun by the barbarian invasion and so on.

        I think deep down inside, everyone knows this.

        Despite what the Chinese netizens think are external threats from the other nation’s economies or the American military, I believe that the only threat they really have to fear is their own internal corruption of the government. If they somehow manage to remove corruption from their culture, I believe they’ll truly be an unmatched economic and military superpower.

        I can’t see the Chinese economy sustaining long term forever with corruption practices continually embedded into the culture. Internal corruption will always leave China weak and vulnerable to outside forces.

        • anon

          Canada is a great country though even I like to make fun of it as being an extension of the United States. Unfortunately, it too has notable cases of corruption like Tunagate and AdScam or the small-potatoes “licence-for-sale” corruption discussed elsewhere in these comments. Fortunately, Canada isn’t the subject of global scrutiny unlike China and the United States and hasn’t had, in my opinion, anything that made widespread media headlines like Iceland or Greece. I think most of what happens in Canada only pisses off local Canadians, except maybe baby seal clubbing.

          I don’t really agree with the suggestion that foreigners tried to take advantage of China BECAUSE they’ve always seen China as corrupt, weak, and constantly infighting. Well, maybe weak. I think they tried to take advantage because they could, and the Chinese suffered because they allowed themselves to be taken advantaged of. The reason I disagree with your suggestion is because it feels wrong. It feels like you’re shifting the moral blame onto the Chinese. It’s kinda like saying the woman who was raped was asking for it. Judging by the rest of your comments, I’m thinking that wasn’t your intention.

          Either way, I think China has definitely learned the lesson that it must get its act together to avoid being exploited and taken advantaged of again. That’s something that underpins the tolerance of a strong authoritarian government. Chinese people, for all the arguable defensiveness and insecurity that permeates their society’s understanding of their relation towards other countries (mostly the developed West), have a very cynical view of themselves that isn’t entirely unwarranted given their circumstances. They seem to inherently understand and accept that their society is difficult to manage given the size and general underdevelopment and that’s why they value stability above so many things the West wishes (or at least pay lip-service to) for China.

          Hong Kong is definitely better in many measures compared to China, but then it’s comparing apples and oranges, with Hong Kong being a very small apple and China being a very very very big orange. Interestingly, Hong Kong was notorious for corruption just decades ago, and the general populace’s understanding of that corruption was quite similar to the general population’s understanding of corruption in China today. Just one example, organized crime was extremely powerful in Hong Kong (and many argue it still is and especially in certain circles like property development and entertainment).

          Taiwan, the shining beacon of Chinese democracy, likewise was rife with corruption similar to what we deride China for. Again, some say it still is. But in both cases, the scale of the problem is orders of magnitude smaller than the scale of the problem in China. Tackling such corruption takes a lot of effort, and an effort of commensurate scale.

          I think there are definitely a lot of people in China who want to improve the state of affairs and fight corruption. I think the desire is there and I generally forgive the average Chinese person for wanting better but still breaking the rules themselves because people just want to make do and not be the fool who didn’t get what he could when he could. But it’s going to take a lot of time because there are a lot of people to bring up to speed and onto the same page. The state of corruption today, from the perspective of the average person, has arguably improved over the past few decades. In the past, even simple ordinary bureaucratic procedures involved bribes and currying favor. There’s still a heck of a long way to go, and I don’t think anyone denies that.

          About what Chinese people think of external threats, you know, I don’t really think it is unwarranted. I think the fears Chinese people have about other countries aren’t all that different from the fears the people of other countries have about other countries either. China is hardly the only country that chafes at the reach of the American military or how certain countries can throw their weight around economically, politically, or militarily more than other countries. This is the nature of international relations. What other countries do can affect life in China, so its normal I think to question what other countries do or say.

          Chinese people I think certainly do fear the internal corruption of their government and society. Even a cursory glance of the Chinese internet shows that Chinese people are far more preoccupied with domestic injustices than they are with crackpot conspiracy theories about foreigners. I think a lot of foreigners who dine on a unbalanced diet of “Chinese nationalism” stories fail to see this. Instances of Chinese fears of external threats aren’t really that much higher than what you see in America. Given the relationship between the United States and China, where one is the reigning hegemon and the other is a rising country with all the potential to challenge that hegemon, it isn’t surprising at all to see plenty of mutual suspicion in both countries, which is exactly the case.

          China, as a nation and state in the current world order, definitely has the potential to be a world power. However, short of catastrophe befalling the current world powers, I’m not sure we’ll see it in our lifetimes, at least not to the extent enjoyed by the United States in the second half of the 20th century. I say that because despite how fast our world changes these days in terms of technology and whatever, what is holding us back are ourselves and our habits. Its what I think is holding back China. You have people who are used to doing things certain ways, because that’s how things have always been done in their eyes, and they perpetuate it. Every generation must be educated to aspire for better and with each generation’s passing, you have a chance that the next generation will have a higher floor of expectations and way of operating. This is how much of the corruption that we see in China today was gradually stamped out in Western countries (though corruption still exists, just in more sophisticated forms). It takes a favorable environment, rising living standards, and time measured by generations.

  • fouManChu

    This is a re-occurring scam in Canada. The first case I remember was two Winnipeg examiners in the 80’s. Then a big case in Vancouver 1993, 500+ licenses revoked, another case around 2008. You can read it here: vancouver sun.

    These license examiners were gaining serious coin, much more than their annual salary. It was always the asian community, mostly chinese, doing the bribes. It makes you wonder if there is some factual basis to the racist stereotype of bad chinese drivers.

    • DRaY

      It’s not a racial stereotype, they are bad drivers. Well I wouldn’t really say bad, because accidents are not as common as you would expect, so I would say that they are very inconsiderate drivers. Probably 50% of the people driving in China either don’t have licenses or they just paid for them.

      • Patrick

        I was driving our car in Suzhou last night when my Chinese wife started laughing at me. I got a little irritated with her and asked, “What’s the deal?” Simple response, “You are too careful.” All I did was look both ways when pulling out into the street.

    • anon

      That case was only resolved in 2008. I remember it being reported in 2004 after they were caught.

      Do you know if the Winnipeg case in the 80s and the Richmond and Surrey cases in 93 involved the Asian community? I can’t find any information on those cases. I’m pretty sure there weren’t many mainland Chinese immigrants to Canada back then.

      There’s a factual basis to bribes being an unfortunate norm in a lot of Chinese bureaucracy. While it has gotten a lot better over time, especially in the wealthier cities, it is still readily apparent in many places in China. Even now people expect to stuff some cash to driving examiners to smooth the process, get some leniency on small mistakes during the test, if not outright buying passes. Some places and people are better than others, but there’s a lot of temptation to take from those who are willing to give in this kind of environment where everyone is trying to make do and you feel stupid if others are doing it. This goes for both sides of the transaction.

      I don’t think the license-for-sale case proves the racist stereotype of bad Chinese drivers. It proves that Chinese people who need licenses, don’t have good English skills, and thus can’t pass a Canadian driving exam but have money are willing to use methods familiar to them to get what they want so long as someone (in this case, a Hong Kong immigrant and a Canadian of apparent Latin lineage — if we want to identify races and ethnicities here) is willing to hook it up for them. I’m not the lease bit surprised that recent mainland immigrants are willing to engage in bribery. If it works back home and it may work in Canada, why not, they think.

      What the case proves is that the bad (apparently mostly women) Chinese driver you see might not have obtained her license legitimately. However, I’ve found that a lot of bad Chinese female drivers are just as likely to come from Hong Kong or Taiwan (who made up the vast majority of previous “Chinese” immigrant waves) and they didn’t buy their licenses. They’re just bad drivers like the many other bad drivers of other ethnicities we see. The stereotype of Chinese drivers being bad is just because white drivers find it easier to associate the bad driving with the apparent race of the driver. It’s profiling. That association sticks in their memories even if statistically it isn’t necessarily true.

      The real basis for the racist stereotype of bad Chinese drivers is that many recent immigrant Chinese drivers (the instances of bad driving amongst assimilated ethnic Chinese are the same as the “native whites” in Western countries) is that they have driving habits shaped by where they are from. China is the most egregious example of where the rules of the road are commonly bent and broken because. Taiwan and Hong Kong have gotten noticeably better but were pretty bad even a few decades ago. In China, you have widespread corruption in licensing that allows more people who don’t actually meet the letter of the law to get licenses and then you have a ton of people and cars everywhere who don’t always follow the rules of the road adapting to each other in real time by bending and breaking rules.

      The common refrain to the bad Chinese driver stereotype is that they may actually be really good drivers, for being able to survive in the chaos that is driving in China. However, if you transplant them into another country with them keeping their habits and the driving environment is different, the natives are definitely going to see their driving as “bad” because they’re definitely “bad” when measured against the observed rules of the locale.

      I hate people who don’t use turn signals.

      • fouManChu

        Anon, tried to answer your post, chinaSmack ate it, here is an abbreviated 2nd version. First the Winnipeg case, yes two white examiners and applicants with chinese names, these likely recent Hong Kong immigrants at the time. Solved corruption cases are always the tip of the iceberg, these are only the guys that got caught. They were pulling in 50 to 100 thousand $ extra, that the police could prove. You are making distinctions between Hong Kong driver, mainlander ect. but canadians ( I am white canuck) won’t care. Nor will they care if it was DNA or the lack of a properly vetted driver license that cuts them off or rams their car. Their lawyer will care, because then they can sue ICBC.

        It make sense that the fixer, the person who knows the identity of the corrupt examiners, will recruit customers from his own language/ethnic recent immigrant community. The canadian news media will only report the ethnicities in passing, pro forma political correctness.

        • anon

          Don’t you hate it when that happens? LOL

          Yeah, I know white canucks won’t care about the distinctions. I made it mostly for the benefit of some of the people who think Hong Kong people are categorically better than mainlanders (they crop up in the HK vs. mainland posts).

          Most of my response was dissecting the connection between buying licenses and bad driving. I felt you were saying the case of Chinese immigrants buying licenses explains why there is the racist stereotype of bad Chinese drivers. I’m a nerd and that didn’t make sense to me so I just wanted to say it is because there are bad Chinese drivers that there is the racist stereotype of bad Chinese drivers. The case of buying licenses proves something else, that some Chinese people are willing to smooth the path between where they are and what they want with money. Haha, did that make sense?

          The fixer (Dragon Driving School operator/owner) was capitalizing on a need he identified. He knew there was demand for drivers licenses from recent immigrants who aren’t fluent in English to pass the test and he positioned himself to supply them what they wanted for a consideration (money). He was the middleman. The examiners were the suppliers. The recent immigrants were the demand. It’s like foreigners going to China and buying “guanxi”, or people who can help them curry favor with those in power to get the business or contracts they want.

          I think political correctness has its place. However, the reports from the Canadian media didn’t really shy away from revealing who the participants were. They gave names (which are racially/ethnically identifiable) and they explicitly stated the beneficiaries of the licence-for-sale scam were recent Chinese immigrants. The media, of course, should avoid making generalizations and perpetuating stereotypes. Their job is to just report the facts (ideally) without making racially motivated commentary. That’s what editorialists and columnists are for!

  • john

    Ok, this is the most BS fake article I’ve read. Chinasmack staff, you guys really fucked it up this time. This BS article plus the apology letter. You guys are going to far, your fucking site is dead. I’ll see what I can do to report this site to GFW and block this bullshit site. I don’t mind if amusing myself with some good articles, but this is an outrage.

    • angryman

      Outrage? For translating a (possibly fake) forum discussion? Threatening GFWing?

      Wow, who pissed in your coffee this morning?

      First of all, yes, Chinasmack articles have become more harmonious of late- sort of a transition from guerrilla journalism to China odd news. Second, the thing that strikes me as wrong about this bit is the sums- too many round numbers, not enough 8’s.

    • Bo Wang


      Obvious troll is obvious.

  • Nam

    Take it with a pinch of salt. What is shown could have been fabricated, I am not concluding that they are clean but this is definitely not sufficient to make conclusions. I know names of people in government departments, I too can fabricate the same messages listed above. Need hard facts, nice try.
    Not only in government offices corruption exists, even in foreign companies, public companies and private companies; thus need not make it sound that only in government offices one can be rich through corruption.

  • Pong Lenis

    Yes, China sucks. Nothing new about it.

  • ShanghaiSteve

    It’s interesting that he knowingly purchases a stolen phone and then writes about the moral inadequacies of the Vehicle Administration.

    “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself?”

  • greater

    u wont b in trouble if tht officer find tht u have exposed him? whts ur plan regarding these evidences..u want to give it to higher authority or police to investigate this matter or just leave it here only?

    • Bo Wang

      Are you Singaporean or Indian by any chance? From experience, people from those two regions have a habit of abbreviating words like you and it is *really* annoying to read. Honestly, how much more time and energy would be wasted by typing out a few vowels?

      • Pong Lenis

        wt t fk r u talkg abt?

  • stubear

    My Chinese friend paid their driving instructor 800 yuan today, she passed and will collect her license next week. :)

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