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False Alarm: 9 Strange “Emergency Calls” from China

China’s emergency number ‘110’ is supposed to be used when one needs urgent help from the police. However, some people call 110 with the strangest information and for the weirdest reasons. Here are nine real calls to 110 with very special ’emergencies’.

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READING TIME: 3 MINUTES, 55 SECONDS

 

China’s emergency number ‘110’ is supposed to be used when one needs urgent help from the police, for example when someone is in serious danger or when witnessing a crime. However, some people call 110 with the strangest information and for the weirdest reasons. Here are nine real calls to 110 with very special ’emergencies’.

January 10 is the national day for China’s emergency number 110. For this special occasion, the Chongqing Morning Post has picked a couple of “interesting” cases from the Chongqing 110 control center, causing astonishment amongst China’s netizens (#奇葩报警#) about the reasons for people to call 110. See the following real stories.


1

 

Case 1: Phone needs a top-up

 

Man: Hi 110, my mobile phone is running out of credit. Could you please call this number [xxxx] for me?

110: What is this number?

Man: It’s my friend’s phone.

110: Is your friend requiring help from the police?

Man: No, but could you ask him to top up my mobile credit for me please?

110: All right….

What happened afterwards: the 110 receptionist literally did call the guy’s friend and told him to top up his friend’s phone.

 

2

 

Case 2: Professional salvage

 

110: Hello, Chongqing 110, how can I help you?

Old man: I dropped my certificate of property ownership into a sewer by accident, could you help me to get it out please?

110: Please let us know your exact location. And by the way, is the sewer deep?

Man: No, but it is really dirty. Hurry up a bit! My certificate is sinking!

110: Please wait a moment and keep your phone connected, we will send someone.

 

3

 

Case 3: Get it out of my way!

 

Woman: Hi 110? There is a car in my way!

110: Please tell us the registration plate of the car and your location.

Woman: Registration plate? Yu [for Chongqing] … and something in English that I don’t know. It looks like vertical lines connected with a horizontal line. Looks like a staircase.

110: I guess you mean “H”

Woman: Yes! That’s right!

[Chongqing police notice: Please make sure you provide precise information when calling 110.]

 

4

 

Case 4: Bad joke

 

Girl: 110? I was raped!

110: Please wait a moment, keep your phone connected and we will send someone immediately.

What happened afterwards: when the police arrived on site, the girl who made the call was sitting in an Internet bar. She was playing cards with her friends online. By rule, the person who loses the game has to do something decided by the winner. She lost. Hence she made the call.

 

5

 

Case 5: I’m Here

 

Man: There is a car accident here, please come as soon as possible! [end of call]

110: Hello? Where about are you?

[Calling back] 110: Did you report a car accident just now? Where are you now please?

Man: How come you can’t even find this place here? It is here, just across the bridge! [hangs up again]

110: ……

[Chongqing police notice: please, say the district name first and then the place of event.]

 

6

 

Case 6: A ‘Massacre’

 

110: Hello ChongQing 110, how can I help?

Old Woman: Oh my god, things went terrible wrong! Many people were beaten to dead! So many!

110: Could you tell me more about the details please? And what is your location?

Old Woman: It is xxxxx [the location]

What happened afterwards: when the police arrived, it turned out to be nothing more than an ordinary argument and fight, where both sides only suffered minor injury.

 

7

 

Case 7: Unknown creature

 

110: Hello, Chongqing 110, how can I help?

Man: My pig just gave birth, and it delivered an “elephant”!

110: Could you give me more details please? Where about are you?

Man: I live in xxxx, I had a pig, which delivered an “elephant” just now.

110: All right, please keep your phone on, we will dispatch someone.

What happened afterwards: when the police arrived at the scene of the ‘accident’, the creature turned out to be just a little piggy with a long nose comparing to its siblings.

 

8

 

Case 8: Seasonal greeting

 

110: Hello, Chongqing 110, how can I help?

Old man: How come your guys at 110 are still working? It’s not an easy job, is it? I send you my holiday greetings! I wish you good health!

110: Thank you. How can I help please?

Old man: No, I am only calling to send my greetings.

110: Thank you.

[Chongqing police notice: it’s touching to send your thankful greetings, but in order to keep the telephone line clear for those who needs it, please only call 110 when necessary.]

 

9

 

Case 9: Free lift please!

 

110: Hello, Chongqing 110, how can I help?

Man: Hi, is that 110? Could you help me please? I need a taxi to xxx, but it is really too far and the fare is so expensive. Could you guys please give me a ride, so I can save some costs?

110: Did you lose any valuables?

Man: No, I didn’t. The taxi fare is just too expensive.

 

Conclusion: these are not the ways to call 110.

 

– by Fan Bai

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©2014 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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About the author: Fan Bai is a freelance translator and writer. Born and raised in China, she is now based in the UK.

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China Digital

Cybersecurity Experts Warn: Flicking the V-Sign in Photos Could Give Away Your Fingerprint Data

V-sign selfie pictures could disclose personal information about your fingerprints, security experts warn.

Manya Koetse

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Our cameras are getting better, but that’s not always a good thing. Chinese internet security experts warn that peace sign photos could potentially be abused to collect fingerprint data.

The 2019 China Cybersecurity Week was held in Shanghai this week, and made it to the top trending topics on Sina Weibo today.

The topic attracting the attention of millions of Chinese web users is not China’s cybersecurity in general, but one that was discussed during the event, namely the potential privacy risks in making a V-sign on photos.

Chinese internet security experts at the conference warned that people are unaware that they could be giving away personal data information about their fingerprints when sharing photos of themselves making a peace sign.

If the side of the fingertips is facing the camera, and if there is not a lot of space in between the camera and the hand, it would potentially be possible to gather fingerprint data using photo enlargement tools and AI techniques.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez.

The deputy director of the Shanghai Information Security Industry Association stated that photos displaying a fingertop-facing V-sign taken within 1,5 meter of the camera could potentially disclose 100% of one’s fingerprint information, China Press reports.

A booth at the conference giving information about fingerprint information leaking through V-sign photos. Photo via China Press.

Criminals could reconstruct fingerprint patterns of other people and abuse them in various means – basically wherever fingerprint information is used to confirm people’s identities (e.g. biometric door locks or fingerprint payment scanning).

Besides not disclosing fingerprint information in photos posted online, experts also warn people not to leave fingerprint information at machines without confirming their purpose and legality.

Fingerprint scanning is used for a multitude of purposes in China. Foreigners who arrived in China since 2017 will also be familiar with the policy of collecting foreign passport holders’ fingerprints upon their arrival in the PRC.

On Chinese social media, the topic “Making a V-Sign Could Leak Your Fingerprint Data” is one of the biggest being discussed today. On Weibo, the hashtag has gathered 200 million views at time of writing (#拍照比剪刀手会泄露指纹信息#).

Some commenters advise people on social media to make peace signs with the nail side of the fingers facing the camera. (That gesture, however, is deemed an offensive gesture in some nations.)

The V-sign is often used as a rather non-symbolic or cute gesture across in East Asia.

Although in many Western countries, the symbol is mostly known as the victory sign (“V for Victory”) as used during World War II, it entered mainstream popular culture in Japan since the 1960s and spread to other Asian countries from there.

This Time article explains how the gesture appeared in Japanese manga in the late 1960s, one of them titled V is the Sign (Sain wa ‘V’ / サインはV).

Amid the concerned Weibo users, some are not worried: “It’s ok,” one commenter writes: “Using a Beauty App smoothes out my skin anyway.”

There are also many commenters who are confused about the news, wondering what advanced photo camera quality and AI technique might implicate for future privacy risks concerning face recognition data and iris scanning software (“Should we also close our eyes?”).

Others offer a different solution to the unexpected V-sign issue: “Just flip the middle finger instead.”

By Manya Koetse

The images used in the featured image on this page come from 追星娱乐说.

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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China Arts & Entertainment

Famous Chinese Nursery Song “One Penny” Inflates to “One Yuan”

One penny becomes one yuan in this children’s song. What’s next – changing it to QR codes?

Manya Koetse

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Famous Chinese children’s song “One Penny” (一分钱) has changed its penny to a Chinese yuan ($0.15).

The lyrics to the song are now published online and in children’s books with the different lyrics, Chinese news platform City Bulletin (@都市快报) reports on Weibo.

The altered text in a children’s book.

The classic song, in translation, says:

I found a penny on the street,
And handed it over to Uncle Policeman.
The Uncle Policeman took the penny,
And nodded his head at me.
I happily said: “Uncle, goodbye!

The song, by Chinese composer Pan Zhensheng (潘振声), is known throughout China. It came out in 1963.

Apparently, in present-day China, nobody would go through so much hassle for a penny anymore, and so the text was altered (although it is very doubtful people would go through the trouble for one yuan either).

The penny coin (0.01) in renminbi was first issued in 1957, and is somewhat rare to come across these days. “It’s probably even worth more than one yuan now,” some netizens argue.

Chinese media report that composer Pan Zhensheng said the song is just an innocent children’s song, and that it should not be affected by price inflation. Sina News also quoted the composer in saying that changing the text is “not respectful.”

Although some Chinese netizens think the change in the song is just normal modern development, others do not agree at all. In Hangzhou, some say, all you can find on the streets nowadays is QR codes rather than coins. Surely the song should not incorporate those new developments either?

Some commenters on Weibo say the song would never be realistic in China’s current cashless society anyway: “Kids nowadays are not finding cash money at all anymore!”

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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