Foreigners are becoming detectives in solving Chinese crimes? If you’re an American looking for a job, maybe you should think about getting a job in China. You don’t need to worry about a language barrier, and there are only two requirements: you have to know where the police station is and you can’t be Chinese.
If you are Chinese, you will just be ignored. Chinese police have better things to do than helping Chinese people.
On Sina Weibo, a microblog in China similar to Twitter, a user who described himself as an advertising company employee shared a post on Oct. 17 that sparked a lot of comments. The post he shared featured pictures of signs saying that Chinese citizens can hire foreigners to report crime on their behalf.
Because it’s all in Chinese, let me translate.
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Michael Miller, a reporter from Washington Post couldn’t be reached for comments about his views on fighting crimes.
Foreigners will report crimes for you with a charge starting at 200 yuan (or $33) per month. Your lost items will be retrieved with a 100 percent promise that your case will be solved.
Foreigners will report crimes for you. The rate of solved cases is high because the police will pay attention. The charge for retrieving an iPhone is negotiable.
I wasn’t able to verify the advertisements because the phone numbers were obscured, and the original post cannot be located. It might be a joke from some Chinese netizens, but how did this joke come out?
You’re probably wondering why the Chinese can’t report crimes themselves. But if you know how extraordinarily well foreigners are treated by the police in China, you wouldn’t need to ask.
In February 2012, Japanese traveler Kawahara Keiichiro’s bicycle was stolen in Wuhan City. A Chinese netizen helped him post his plight on Weibo. It quickly went viral with 50,000 reposts and shares. Wuhan city police tracked down his bicycle the next day with the help of thousands of netizens.
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A month later, Chinese news source Sina wrote that an American went to a police station in Beijing reporting that his two precious horses were missing from his country club. Since his country club was located in a rural area and roads leading to it were difficult to drive on, two officers had to walk 12 miles to get there. Within four hours they found the escaped horses.
And in July, Wangyi news reported that a Russian man told Ningbo police he lost his passport. The police discovered that the maid mistakenly threw it into the trash in his hotel room. Several police searched through five tons of trash and finally found his passport. Even the Russian couldn’t believe the police had found it.
While foreigners are amazed by the diligence of the Chinese police, Chinese netizens complain that they’re treated unfairly. A Weibo user from Guangdong, whose account name means “looking for my son,” posted: “Why is it that when foreigners lose a bicycle, it can be found, but when Chinese people lose so many children to kidnapping, very few can be found?” According to his Weibo, he has been searching for his son for more than seven years and keeps asking the police for help.
A Weibo user from Tianjin posted: “I called the police when I lost my phone, and the police told me I should take it as a lesson and be more careful next time.”
Another Weibo user said, “What the fuck? This is a business? Foreigners never need to worry about make a living in China.”
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I think a line from Chinese commentator Zhifeng Qiao, posted on news website Shiping Jie, best sums up this problem facing Chinese citizens: “It might help Chinese authorities earn respect when foreigners are satisfied with everything in China, but the basic responsibility of authorities is to protect Chinese people’s interests effectively — it’s the Chinese who pay taxes to keep you. Go figure it out!”