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China Develops App That Lets You Know When a Person in Debt is Nearby so You Can Report Them

Authorities in the Chinese province of Hebei have created a smartphone app that allows users to see if they are within 500 meters of a person in debt so they can report or publicly shame them.

Failing to pay off your debts is generally frowned upon all over the world, but one country has been cracking down on the practice harder than any other. In the last couple of years, Chinese authorities have used a variety of techniques to coerce debtors to pay up, with public shaming being the most popular one. Last year, the local government in Hejiang county, Sichuan, started showing their faces and names during short clips played in cinemas before the main screening, and now authorities in Hebei have announced an app that detects debtors in a 500-meter-radius, allowing users to report or shame them.

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Russian Utility Company Installs Wooden Outdoor Toilet Outside Apartment Buildings to Remind People to Pay Their Bills

A public utility company in the Russian city of Irkutsk has come up with an ingenious way of reminding people to pay their bills if they want to continue using their indoor toilets.

In November of last year, the¬†Irkutsk Northern Housing and Utility Systems Directorate installed a wooden cabin toilet outside an apartment building with a sign that read “Toilet for Debtors” on the front door. This was the company’s unique way of reminding residents that it could cut off their utilities if they didn’t settle their debts. The measure was apparently so successful that the company has been moving the outdoor toilet to problem areas of the city for the last couple of months.

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The Debt Pyramid – An Original Way to Shame Debtors in Russia

After having its written payment notifications ignored by a client, a utility company in Russia came up with an ingenious way of coercing the debtor to pay his dues – it dumped a three-tonne concrete pyramid in front of his luxurious villa.

Samara Utility Systems Ltd. had long been trying to get the unnamed resident of¬†Zubchaninovka village, in Russia’s Samara region, to pay his 50,000 ruble ($810) debt for unpaid water bills. The company had sent him several written notifications, had contacted him by phone, and even sent people to reason with him in person, but to no avail. So management decided to try something new. They commissioned a 3-tonne-heavy, 1.5-meter-tall concrete pyramid, plastered it with shameful slogans and dumped it in front of his home, to serve as a reminder that he had a debt to bay.

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