In China, being the victim in a traffic accident is an opportunity for extortion. Here’s how it works: a pedestrian is struck by a bicycle or car, claims fake injury, and collects a fortune. This act is nicknamed in China as “touching porcelain”, or ?? pèng cí.

This system of inflated victim reparation has had a clear and strange effect on Chinese society: bystanders are rarely willing to help victims. If someone’s injured on the street, spectators are reluctant to get involved, they’ll just walk by. In the most dramatic of cases, it results in this.

It’s because of the perceived risk of assisting a victim and tacitly accepting responsibility for the outcome. What if the person or authorities blame you, or holds you responsible? It sounds ridiculous, but this is a legitimate concern for average Chinese citizens who witness bystander injury.

Here’s how it’s described in Chinese:


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