Jul 03, 2020 07:53 PM

Latest High-Profile College Admission Identity Theft Scandal Implicates 15 Suspects

What’s new: A total of 15 people have been implicated in the latest high-profile identity theft scandal to hit the college admission system in East China’s Shandong province. The impostor and her father are under criminal investigation, two officials have been sacked and others have been disciplined under Communist party rules, the provincial investigation team said in a statement Friday.

The team reported that the identity of the victim, Gou Jing, was stolen once in 1997, by her head teacher’s daughter, while Gou herself claims she also had her identity stolen a second time in 1998.

Gou responded to the investigation’s report on Weibo saying that she “still had a lot of doubts” about their findings, and called on the authorities to look into the problem “thoroughly and clearly.”

The Background: Gou’s case is just one of over 240 education-related identity theft cases recently exposed in Shandong province, in which impostors have taken the college admission places earned by others. The scandal has sparked public outcry, as succeeding in China’s famously competitive gaokao college entrance exam is seen by many low-income families as the only reliable way to change one’s destiny.

Another 46 people had been punished in two previous cases of college admission identity theft, the local investigation team said Monday.

Multiple senior lawmakers, including a vice chairman of the National People's Congress, the country’s top legislature, have urged college admission identity theft to be added to China’s criminal law, as penalties for the life-changing act are currently not on the books.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full Caixin article in Chinese, click here.

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