Protecting yourself

Chinese university exploits students, regrets nothing

Tyler Metzger

Xidian University in China needs a loan, and they want to sign you up for a credit card to get it. And oh, they don’t see anything wrong with that.

The logo of Xidan University According to a report on, officials at Xidian University, an electronic engineering school in northeast China, secretly signed up at least 10,000 students for credit cards from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China without their permission. In return, the bank agreed to grant the university a loan for campus expansion.

Spokesperson Qiang Jianzhou admitted the act was planned by the university in a local branch of the bank, and bank staff said they had a written agreement to wholesale the cards with the help of the university.

This means university employees knowingly forged thousands of signatures to sign up students for credit cards without their knowledge. That’s called fraud where I come from.

But Jianzhou, who ironically is also a professor of “moral education,” defended himself by stating that it was “reasonable” to trade forged credit card applications to receive financial support. He went on to ironically add that student’s financial information doesn’t need to be confidential because banks can be trusted.

The university’s deceptive actions were discovered after a student surprisingly learned he had a credit card with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China after he attempted to apply for online banking. The student then published his story on the Internet, and soon hundreds of students discovered they had credit cards issued in their names.

As the news spread online, Jianzhou agreed to an interview with China Radio. During the discussion, he threatened to “conquer all the information channels” to stop inquires into the matter. Jianzhou also threatened to detain the journalist doing the interview. “I will make it nationwide breaking news,” he said.

Calls to Jianzhou about the ridiculousness of willingly doing an interview and then trying to censor it weren’t immediately returned.

According to citizen identity card law in mainland China, a person can be fined up to $145 and detained for up to ten days for impersonating someone. But so far nothing has happened except an apology from the university and a promise to cancel all the cards.

What do you think should happen to the university? Should they be heavily fined, or should they just be unmercifully made to listen to Guns N’ Roses’ new album Chinese Democracy?


Note: This article is featured in the 203rd edition of The Carnival of Education hosted by the Education Wonks. Check out the carnival for some great personalized insight into the world of education.

See related: Who do you trust more: the police or your credit card company?, Report: Chinese credit card market nearly doubles in a year, Protect your computer — and your identity — on campus

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