Job search site apol­o­gizes

Boss Zhipin says it failed to man­age post­ings, will take le­gal re­spon­si­bil­ity For a fee, stu­dents can fake their in­tern­ships

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHANG YI zhang_yi@chi­

Chinese on­line job re­cruit­ment ser­vice Boss Zhipin made a pub­lic apol­ogy on Thurs­day, pledg­ing to ac­cept le­gal re­spon­si­bil­ity for the death of a univer­sity grad­u­ate.

“We failed to man­age and ex­am­ine job post­ings. Pyra­mid scam gangs ex­ploited the loop­holes and pub­lished false job hir­ing in­for­ma­tion,” Boss Zhipin said in a state­ment.

Boss Zhipin does busi­ness through an app and web­site de­vel­oped by Bei­jing Huapin Borui Net­work Tech­nol­ogy Co, which was founded in 2012.

As ju­nior stu­dents in Chinese col­leges take on sum­mer in­tern­ships, some un­scrupu­lous busi­nesses can’t wait to make deals — like sell­ing them fake in­tern­ship cer­tifi­cates on­line.

For many stu­dents, in­tern­ships are part of their course work and are di­rectly con­nected with school cred­its. In 2015, the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion is­sued a no­tice re­quir­ing that in­tern­ships should ac­count for at least 30 per­cent of all credit hours. Schools typ­i­cally ask stu­dents to take up in­tern­ships for a few months to pre­pare for fu­ture ca­reers.

But if the stu­dents don’t go along, there is an easy way out. For just 200 yuan ($30) or less, you can get what­ever in­tern­ship cer­tifi­cate you like on­line. The busi­ness is ob­vi­ously il­le­gal, but it ex­ists nev­er­the­less.

On e-com­merce web­site Taobao, one can find many items by search­ing “in­tern­ship cer­tifi­cate”. Most are la­beled “in­tern­ship re­ports” and “de­sign­ing in­tern­ship cer­tifi­cates for col­lege stu­dents”. Some even tout “tailor-made” in­tern­ship cer­tifi­cates “pro­vid­ing all nec­es­sary stamps of any com­pany of your choice”.

Xin­hua re­porters spoke to “Yibaifen”, an agent whose de­tails were on Taobao, and tried to buy an in­tern­ship cer­tifi­cate. The agent later said via WeChat that a cer­tifi­cate would cost about 50 yuan.

“You can choose any type of com­pany in any city,” the agent said. The agent then

Li Wenx­ing, a 21-year-old univer­sity grad­u­ate from Shan­dong prov­ince, was found dead in a pond in Tian­jin’s Jing­hai dis­trict on July 14. A police in­ves­ti­ga­tion showed that he ap­plied for a po­si­tion via Boss Zhipin and was lured to a pyra­mid scam or­ga­ni­za­tion dis­guised as a reg­u­lar com­pany.

Police said Li paid a fee to the scam­mers for the re­cruit­ment and was forced to stay in the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s dor­mi­tory from May 20. His move­ments were lim­ited to the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s premises.

“We apol­o­gize to Li’s fam­ily and express our deep­est re­gret to our users, as well as sent the stamp of a well­known Bei­jing-based IT com­pany and claimed it was real be­cause he “has con­nec­tions”.

“I can give you a dis­count if you buy two,” the agent said.

On Taobao, one agent has sold more than 100 fake cer­tifi­cates in the past month, ac­cord­ing to a Tian­jin news­pa­per.

To make the fake cer­tifi­cates ap­pear au­then­tic, some agents even prom­ise to take fol­low-up calls from schools.

On Ten­cent’s in­stant mes­sag­ing ser­vice QQ , an agent said that he is “on call 24/7”.

“I put my own phone num­ber on the cer­tifi­cates, so if your teach­ers call about your in­tern­ship, I can han­dle them,” the agent said.

An­other agent claimed to have an au­then­tic stamp of a Bei­jing ad­ver­tis­ing com­pany. He de­clined to say whether or not he is an em­ployee of the com­pany, but he did say he “co­op­er­ates” with the com­pany, and pays some “com­mis­sion” to it for each stamp he puts on cer­tifi­cates.

But the gen­eral man­ager of the com­pany de­nied any the mem­bers of the pub­lic,” the com­pany state­ment said.

It also said Boss Zhipin will as­sume le­gal and mo­ral obli­ga­tions with re­spect to all users who have suf­fered from false in­for­ma­tion on its plat­form.

Prose­cu­tors in Jing­hai dis­trict ap­proved an ar­rest war­rant for nine sus­pects of a pyra­mid scam called Die Beilei, which is be­lieved to have been con­nected to Li.

Pyra­mid schemes of­ten prey on ill-in­formed vic­tims by promis­ing good-pay­ing jobs or lu­cra­tive fi­nan­cial re­turns. Vic­tims may be lured to what they be­lieve are reg­u­lar com­pa­nies, but are then in­structed by the scam­mers — of­ten un­der duress — to re­cruit friends and fam­ily, or to bor­row money from them, knowl­edge of the scam, say­ing the com­pany has strict pro­ce­dures about us­ing its stamp, and that the agent’s stamp must be fake.

Un­der China’s Crim­i­nal Law, fab­ri­cat­ing the stamps of gov­ern­ment or­gans and com­pa­nies could be a crime. De­spite po­ten­tial pun­ish­ment, how­ever, the busi­ness thrives, partly be­cause of de­mand from col­lege stu­dents.

Xiao Mo, an un­der­grad­u­ate at a col­lege in Xuzhou, Jiangsu prov­ince, bought a fake in­tern­ship cer­tifi­cate on­line. She said her col­lege has “strict de­mands” with re­spect to its in­tern­ship re­quire­ment, but she does not have time be­cause she needs to pre­pare for grad­u­ate school.

“I re­ally don’t have time for an in­tern­ship,” she said. “Be­sides, my teach­ers prob­a­bly won’t check the au­then­tic­ity of the cer­tifi­cate, so it should be no prob­lem.”

But a stu­dent sur­named Zhang from a Bei­jing col­lege dis­agrees. Zhang, who has been work­ing as an in­tern at a com­pany the en­tire sum­mer, ac­cord­ing to the police. Mo­bile phones and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion doc­u­ments are of­ten con­fis­cated, they say.

Prose­cu­tors said Die Beilei has lured more than 400 peo­ple to Jing­hai dis­trict to be­come mem­bers since Septem­ber.

Boss Zhipin was founded in July 2014 and con­cluded its lat­est round of fundrais­ing in Septem­ber 2016. It aims to put both em­ploy­ers and job ap­pli­cants on a fast re­cruit­ment track by en­abling ap­pli­cants to have one-on-one chats with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of com­pa­nies that wish to hire peo­ple.

Bei­jing and Tian­jin mu­nic­i­pal cy­berspace ad­min­is­tra­tions spoke with Boss Zhipin on Wed­nes­day and in­structed it to rec­tify the prob­lems with its job post­ings. said buy­ing fake cer­tifi­cates is un­ac­cept­able.

“In­tern­ships are more about strength­en­ing your abil­ity than ob­tain­ing a piece of pa­per,” he said. “Buy­ing fake cer­tifi­cates is un­fair to the stu­dents who work hard.”

The phe­nom­e­non has fired up an an­gry dis­cus­sion on­line.

“In­tern­ships are meant to pre­pare stu­dents for their fu­ture jobs, but buy­ing fake cer­tifi­cates only dam­ages their cred­i­bil­ity,” read one com­ment.

“It is nec­es­sary to get tougher on the busi­nesses, and col­leges need to reeval­u­ate their as­sess­ment meth­ods for stu­dents,” said an­other.

Li Ji­ax­ing, deputy head of the Univer­sity of In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions, said buy­ing fake in­tern­ship cer­tifi­cates is im­moral.

“Col­leges need to be cred­i­ble,” Li said. “Any­one caught pur­chas­ing fake cer­tifi­cates should be re­garded as cheating and be pun­ished ac­cord­ingly.”

Qu Weny­ong of Hei­longjiang Univer­sity said pro­vid­ing fake in­tern­ship cer­tifi­cates could be a vi­o­la­tion of the law, and that the gov­ern­ment should deal with the agents.

“E-com­merce web­sites are also to blame for pro­vid­ing plat­forms for il­le­gal busi­nesses,” he said.

Any­one caught pur­chas­ing fake cer­tifi­cates should be re­garded as cheating and be pun­ished ac­cord­ingly.”

Li Ji­ax­ing, deputy head of the Univer­sity of In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions


A vis­i­tor at an ex­hi­bi­tion at the Shan­dong Art Mu­seum in Ji­nan, Shan­dong prov­ince, on Wed­nes­day takes a pic­ture of one of the pho­to­graphs on dis­play — an el­derly man paint­ing a tra­di­tional head­piece. About 200 pho­tos fea­tur­ing the coun­try’s in­tan­gi­ble cul­tural her­itage are be­ing shown at the mu­seum.

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