In the ultracompetitive college entrance exams this month, students raised the practice of cheating to a high-tech art form with microscopic earphones and wireless networks. But in the process, according to the China Daily newspaper, some ended up being hospitalized when the homemade devices went awry in their aural canals.
Some bloggers doubted the veracity of these injury reports, attributing them to propaganda by Chinese officials seeking to curb the widespread cheating. But so pervasive has the practice become that universities had announced plans to block mobile-phone signals earlier this month.
Not everyone subscribes to the propaganda theory, but there's one thing that most bloggers seem to agree on: If the students had spent as much time on studying as they did scheming, they'd probably have passed with flying colors.
Blog community response:
"You have to wonder how accurate the article is, since every case of caught cheaters mentions how the cheating devices injured the student. I'm not quite sure what an interphone is, or why you would hide one in your abdomen (or, frankly, how it would explode--perhaps the exams were taken near the Great Wall), but it's not clear the Chinese authorities actually care about reality here. They're just trying to scare kids away from cheating."
"Many Chinese are quite willing to talk about the pervasiveness of the cheating culture in China. Some are bothered by the possibility that their physician couldn't pass a legitimate medical exam, or that the engineers who are building the new subway system in Beijing (which has already suffered two collapses during construction) likely took a few shortcuts in college and may still be taking shortcuts on the job."
--Shamrock Jews Adventure Story
"Well, I believe that if you are that creative to cheat, you are creative enough to learn a a language and find a job in a very creative way as well. No worries then, actually."
--Asia Business Consulting