Life as one of China’s 13 million ‘deadbeats’ means slow trains, special ring tones


In China you had better mind your Ps and Qs. One doesn’t want to wake up one day with a ringtone that says “deadbeat…deadbeat…deadbeat…” on the morning commute on the train.

(From The South China Morning Post)

David Kong was feeling crumpled after a recent business trip to Chongqing, which took more than 30 hours on a hard sleeper known locally in China as the “green-skin train” for its distinctive dark olive hue. The same journey would have taken just three hours by air, or about 12 hours by high speed train, but Kong could not take either as he was a “deadbeat”.

As one of 13 million officially designated “discredited individuals”, or laolai in Chinese, on a public database maintained by China’s Supreme Court, 47-year-old Kong is banned from spending on “luxuries”, whose definition includes air travel and fast trains.

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