Planet China

Sending a message

Tencent’s social media app WeChat is now such a feature of everyday life that the police in Zhenjiang have decided to incorporate it into how they punish people for traffic violations.

Rulebreakers can now pay their traffic fines with ‘likes’ of their post. According to Sohu, the punishment is being doled out to riders of bikes, electric bikes and scooters who run red lights or head in the wrong direction down one-way streets.

Those caught violating the rules will be shown an accident prevention video and told to take a photo of themselves viewing it. This photo must then be posted on the offender’s WeChat Moments account. Once the post has been seen and ‘liked’ by 10 more people, the offender is allowed to leave without paying the usual fine.

The local police say that bike riders are responsible for a lot of serious accidents and that the 10 ‘likes’ strategy is designed to get this message across. However, the unorthodox approach has been mocked online with one netizen derisively observing “10 likes is too easy” while another wondered “What about people without any friends?”

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