Planet China

The honest baker

In the world of stockbroking risk managers fear so-called ‘fat finger’ error, when traders put in a far larger orders than intended. This month Samsung Securities was left red-faced after it mistakenly issued 2.8 billion shares to 16 employees in a fat finger mistake (the workers quickly sold some of the shares and a criminal complaint was filed against them this week).

On a somewhat smaller scale, a steamed bunshop boss in Zhengzhou was the beneficiary of some fat finger financing in a customer order through Alipay. But unlike the South Koreans, he chose the honest approach and went to the media to find the person who had transferred him too much cash. The sum in question was Rmb147,258 ($23,204), which the Zhengzhou Evening News, says is more than the bun shop’s annual income (it generally charges Rmb1 for buns stuffed with eggs and leeks). The shop’s owner Liu Zhu quickly concluded that the customer had entered the wrong figure and he approached local newspapers to help identify the ‘buyer’ so he could offer a refund.

On Wednesday the customer was finally found by the police. Han Hong explained to Sina that he’d been in a rush and failed to notice the additional digits he’d mistakenly typed in. He added that when Alipay called to notify him he had at first suspected it was a phone scam and ignored it. But in a happy ending for bun boss Liu the government awarded him Rmb5,000 for his honesty. He also reports that the publicity means his shop has never been busier.

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