Chinese Guanyun People’s Court Dials Into Smartphone Addiction To Encourage Debt Repayment
I’m surprised that our mobile number – or cell ‘phone number – isn’t referred to as our “personal” number more often, at least in the developed smartphone world. In these days of wide population coverage and of being able to handle calls over a Wi-Fi network, our one ubiquitous number is usually handled by our cell ‘phone. Allied to a smartphone, many of us can control much of our lives from a small device able to be carried around with us. However, imagine if when somebody called you, they were told something about you that you would rather they didn’t know? This is something that a local court in Guanyun County, the East China province of Jiangsu, China, is trying.
The Guanyun County People’s Court has hit ten people with a pre-recorded message on their cell number for callers to listen to. The message explains: “The user of the number you’ve dialed has been listed as someone who is avoiding debt repayments ordered by the Guanyun County People’s Court. Please urge this person to fulfill their legal obligations. The Guanyun People’s Court thanks you for your support.” It’s currently predominantly being used against small business owners the court believes able to repay their debts and the hope is that it could shame people into stumping up the cash. After all, if you called a business to talk to the owner about a purchase, you might think twice after listening to the recorded message. Information is power.
Unfortunately, the Western world’s overdeveloped sense of political correctness means that these shame tactics are unlikely to make it to Europe, the United Kingdom, or North America – but imagine if it did? With so many people glued to their smartphone and reliant upon it for communication, it could be a very effective way of encouragement. It could be one way to encourage deadbeat dads to pay their child support, for example, but it might be better used when trying to send an instant message instead.
“The individual you are about to call has not paid child support. Please remind them of their responsibilities.”
Chinese authorities have other tricks to use to encourage debtors to pay up, such as preventing airline and train travel, restricting driving privileges, and of course preventing individuals from taking out additional loans.
SOURCE [China Daily]