Debtors shamed by showing their faces during movie screenings in theatres

To maximize the technique’s effectiveness, authorities show the borrowers’ faces in cinemas in their local area.

The derogatory term ‘laolai’ refers to borrowers who fail to pay their debts on time. To maximize the technique’s effectiveness, authorities show the borrowers’ faces in cinemas in their local area.

Blacklisting

“Public shaming has been an increasingly common tactic to punish laolai … along with other repercussions for failing to repay loans, including blacklisting and travel restrictions,” Li Qiang, director of enforcement for Hejiang’s courts, told Chinese website The Cover.

“For the audiences in the cinema, we specifically chose to expose the names of debtors whose household registration were in that area so it was more targeted and the results would be more effective.”

A video of the Reel of Shame playing in a Hejiang cinema recently went viral on China’s microblogging platform Weibo.

Defaulted

It showed the faces and names of 26 business executives who had defaulted on their loans despite local court orders demanding they pay up.

Interestingly, the Reel of Shame is just one of several public shaming methods used in China.

Last year, the Government rolled out a national system allowing borrowers’ names, identity card numbers, photographs, home addresses and the amounts owed to be made public and propagated through various channels as a way of coercing them to pay their debts.

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