The culture and polity that is China

by on October 12, 2017 at 12:13 am in Current Affairs, Economics, Law, Web/Tech | Permalink

Those who fail to repay a bank loan will be blacklisted, and they will have their name, ID number, photograph, home address and the amount they owe published or announced through various channels – including in newspapers, online, on radio and television, and on screens in buses and public lifts.

…In the southern city of Guangzhou, the personal details of some 141 debt defaulters have so far been displayed on screens in buses, commercial buildings and on media platforms at the request of local courts.

Meanwhile in Jiangsu, Henan and Sichuan provinces, the courts have teamed up with telecoms operators to create a recorded message – played every time someone calls – for those who fail to repay their loans. The message tells the caller: “The person you are calling has been put on a blacklist by the courts for failing to repay their debts. Please urge this person to honour their legal obligations.”

That is from SCMP, via Viking.

Elsewhere in the Middle Kingdom, Shanghai adopts a facial recognition system to name and shame jaywalkers.

1 Brent October 12, 2017 at 12:43 am

This is exactly what China needs. Another incentive for saving more and against risk taking (tongue in cheek)

2 A clockwork orange October 12, 2017 at 12:46 am

So this is what Vietnam has begun then.

3 Axa October 12, 2017 at 1:35 am

Why not property and income seizure?

More than punishment, shaming looks like a way to protect the people that don’t pay debts. The government saves face by doing something that pleases citizens instead of facing the problem.

4 dan1111 October 12, 2017 at 3:43 am


Yeah. Like when politicians complain about corporations and rich people not paying taxes, because the law does not require them to pay taxes.

5 Just Another MR Commentor October 12, 2017 at 10:48 am

They shouldn’t do any of it. Not paying a private debt shouldn’t involve the government.

6 sort_of_knowledgable October 12, 2017 at 6:37 pm

If the creditor sues in court and asks for the sheriff to collect the judgement the government is involved.

7 Viking October 12, 2017 at 11:04 am

I have some Chinese friends. From the outside, their real estate transactions look very scary. In a recent transaction, the contract said the seller must remove all liens rather than using an intermediary who does not release the money to seller until liens have been eliminated.

8 Prakash October 12, 2017 at 2:54 am

God knows, India could use more of this, shaming defaulters, i.e. On the second, We really don’t have well demarcated roads or skywalks, so the country is pretty much all jaywalking all the time.

9 Nebfocus October 12, 2017 at 5:39 am

Jaywalking is the least of India’s problems.

10 shrikanthk October 12, 2017 at 8:12 am

I am all for some low risk jaywalking.

I find American crossing habits wayyy too conservative.

11 dan1111 October 12, 2017 at 8:41 am

This varies regionally. In parts of America there is plenty of jaywalking going on.

12 Viking October 12, 2017 at 10:36 am

Lots of people have a bad habit of not distinguishing between suicidal jaywalking behavior that requires a driver to break when he shouldn’t have to, and victim-less jaywalking when pedestrian light is red, but there are no cars present.

I suspect the Shanghai local government falls in the camp that “you should not cross because we say so” rather than “the car has the right of way”.

13 prior_test3 October 12, 2017 at 3:58 am

Isn’t this actually ‘The culture and polity that is nudging?’ Or is this another kind of nudge than that worthy of international prize recognition?

14 Harun October 12, 2017 at 11:13 am


American radio has public service announcements encouraging people to feel no shame taking welfare. Most people belief bankruptcy and defaulting on loans are no big deal – only some big bank pays a price and the banks are insured. Stealing under $950 in California is only a misdemeanor and cops don’t really care.

China is obviously moving in the opposite direction: piling onto the shaming culture.

I’m not sure which system is better, but its interesting to see.

15 Troll Me October 13, 2017 at 1:55 am

Taking welfare to meet basic obligations such as to pay rent or feed children, or which may include the ability to stay sufficiently well clothed to be able to attend a job interview, is much different from intentionally or unintentionally being in a position where one will default on a loan.

I don’t see that such messages would help to improve their repayment prospects, for example if a prospective employer were to observe the message. In the same case, some employers might feel themselves to be in a position to practically extort additional labour for the fact of being almost necessarily informed of the individual’s position when first (or later) coming into contact with the individual by calling them.

16 Adam October 12, 2017 at 5:34 am

This looks like a milder version of debtors’ prison, which is well nows as an idea appeals to peoples intuitive sense of justice, but is a bad idea and hurts the economy.

17 rayward October 12, 2017 at 6:14 am

As America’s defaulter-in-chief would say, “Fake news!”

18 A Truth Seeker October 12, 2017 at 6:27 am

“and on screens in buses and public lifts.”
For a second there, I had understood “and in screams in buses and public lifts”.

19 msgkings October 12, 2017 at 7:42 am

Where is your comment about bloodthirsty communist red China and greed Moloch and so this is what America I mean China has become?

20 Thor October 12, 2017 at 11:08 am

“So this failure to talk about China is what China talk has become”?

21 A Truth Seeker October 12, 2017 at 12:19 pm

What you want me to tell you? That their ways of dealing with their own people are savage? Do you need to bemtokd that?

22 msgkings October 12, 2017 at 3:01 pm

You are always saying the same things about ‘America’ in every post, why not China?

23 Tom T. October 12, 2017 at 7:40 am

In the US, doing this would make the people into folk heroes.

24 msgkings October 12, 2017 at 7:43 am

Or president.

25 Thor October 12, 2017 at 11:08 am


26 Borjigid October 12, 2017 at 8:58 am

This seems counterproductive.

27 Thor October 12, 2017 at 11:12 am

Very counterproductive indeed. Imagine trying to rebuild your business or relaunch your career or what have you thought n the face of a campaign that ostracizes you.

There’s a fine line but a line nonetheless between punishing cheats via shaming and discouraging people to rally from a setback.

28 Harun October 12, 2017 at 11:16 am

China is full of people who borrow money to cheat people. Its not just failed Hershey’s who need another chance.

29 Borjigid October 12, 2017 at 11:21 am

Well yeah, you put up with the former in the hopes that the latter pan out.

30 Alan October 12, 2017 at 9:54 am

The Shanghai thing is interesting in that it seems to be planned only for major roads. So my guess is they are going to continue to make the major streets car-only zones, and leave the smaller ones the way they are now, sort of mixed. I used to sort of like the old Chinese way of dealing with the car vs. pedestrian thing, which was that pedestrians would pile up and slowly push into the street until they had the moral right of way and then the cars would mostly stop. There were red and green lights around, but nobody paid much attention.

There was a lot of stuff published a while back on the creation of jaywalking, but all I found in a quick search was.

Peter D. Norton, “Street Rivals: Jaywalking and the Invention of the Motor Age Street,” Technology and Culture 48 (April 2007), 331-359

31 Harun October 12, 2017 at 11:17 am

Maybe this is a sign that the unperforming loan problem is MASSIVE, so the Chinese government hopes using some “soft power” could help their banks.

32 Borjigid October 12, 2017 at 11:23 am

Better to just develop an adequate corporate, as well as personal, bankruptcy law then. Shaming 146 people isn’t gonna fix a broken financial system.

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