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Total control: the Chinese way to punish criminal





Rather than jail time or hefty fines, China’s justice system is employing a new type of punishment for criminals this year: massive inconvenience.

The state-run Xinhua News agency reported Wednesday that 2,421 people found guilty of bank card and mobile SIM card-related crimes in the southern Guangdong province over the past month have been barred from making mobile and bank card payments for five years. They will now only be able to use cash.

The punishment is tantamount to social exclusion in a country where mobile payments are employed in every area of life, from public transport to grocery shopping, household bills, health care, and tourism. Leading payment apps Alipay and WeChat are so dominant that the government has had to remind businesses that refusing cash is illegal.

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The cashless society from an ethical point of view

The debate about the move towards a cashless society has been at the center of the scene for several years, now. Various angles have been taken by economists, politicians, banking institutions and sociologists. Beyond the technicalities of the debate, lies the question of freedom, of inter-citizen solidarity and of governmental responsibility. The debate cannot remain in the hands of financial specialists, it is first and foremost an ethical, political and societal issue.










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