Crazy Bureaucracy: Proof of Proof of Proof of No Criminal Record


Trending on Sina Weibo is the story of a woman applying for her teacher’s license and needing a proof of a proof that she had no criminal record. Chinese bureaucracy has gone too far, say Weibo netizens.

When a young woman applied for her teacher’s license, she needed a ‘proof of no criminal record’ (无犯罪证明) from her neighbourhood committee. The neighbourhood committee first needed a proof of no criminal record from the local police station, before being able to process a proof of no criminal record. In order for the local police station to give this proof, they required the right papers from the criminal records unit. This unit first needed proof that there was proof of no criminal record.

One Weibo netizen says: “Every time you walk into a governmental place, there’s a sign saying ‘Serve the People’. But if you actually want to get something done, it’s virtually impossible to arrange it. Not long ago, I spend a month walking in between the social security office, bank, notary office and community office, just to get a proof of legitimacy for my child.”

Another Weibo user remarks: “It seems that in order for a person to prove he’s alive, he needs to go to the King of Hell to get proof he’s not there, otherwise your work unit will not be able to give you proof of existence,…”


– by Manya Koetse

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