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Pianote

Police Showed Up Wanting To See My Passport?

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Pianote

I stayed at an airbnb in Shenzhen for a few days. It was in an apartment. The police knocked on the door asking the landlord to get my passport to make sure I was legal, I guess. 

I tried asking the landlord what was going on but he didnt English?

 

Has this happened to anyone else? 

What do you think this was about?

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edelweis

You're supposed to register at the police station. Usually when you stay at a hotel, the staff do it for you, but the Airbnb host might not have done it (?)

Anyway, I assume it's routine police work, they may have been tipped off by a neighbor or something.

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889

When you stay at a hotel you don't need to register with the police. But if you stay privately you need to go to the local paichusuo within 24 hours in urban areas (you get a bit more time in rural areas).

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Balthazar

This has happened to me once, but I was staying with friends/family and not at a hotel. Actually it was during CNY (on new year's eve) four years ago. I was extremely surprised that they would come knocking at all, especially on a day like that. I think they might have been tipped off by a neighbor. This was in Changchun, in an area with few if any other 洋人.

 

I haven't registered with the police during any of my stays before or after (and I always stay with family). Perhaps I should start doing so.

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DavyJonesLocker

Happened to me twice. Once, no idea, 2nd time because I hadn't registered, opps

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ZC

That happened to me and a couple friends just yesterday in Hangzhou! Typically if you can explain what’s up (even badly or through a translate app) they are pretty understanding. Since one of us was carrying all 4 of our passports and was out at the time, the police guy was willing to wait ~15 minutes. Unless you are being genuinely illegal or subversive the chance that you will get in real trouble is pretty negligable, especially if not registering was an honest mistake.

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Tøsen
8 hours ago, Balthazar said:

off by a neighbor

I had this happen in Beijing. I had not registered. A neighbour "grassed on" my friend, she told me. She also said her neighbours in general were suspicious and would report other things, including if her twins were in fact real twins.. Furthermore with last year's 'your foreign boyfriend could be a spy' campaign, this is logical that people are more on the alert.

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abcdefg
On 2/12/2018 at 2:01 PM, Pianote said:

What do you think this was about?

 

They have learned of your subversive activity, and are closing in. 

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dwq

Neighbours ratting on each other?  Almost make you think they are some kind of communist country.

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roddy

Oh hush, that's perfectly normal for all totalitarian states, not just the Communist ones.

 

More sympathetically - a 居委會 that failed to do so may well get a telling off for failing to keep a close enough eye on their patch.

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889

"Neighbours ratting on each other?  Almost make you think they are some kind of communist country."

 

"Oh hush, that's perfectly normal for all totalitarian states, not just the Communist ones."

 

Anyone got a good translation for curtain-twitcher?

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Balthazar
2 hours ago, roddy said:

Oh hush, that's perfectly normal for all totalitarian states, not just the Communist ones.

 

 

My grandmother who lives in totalitarian Denmark can vouch for this. At the age of seventy-something she had her state benefit reduced due to neighbors informing the authorities that her boyfriend (can a seventy-something guy be called a boyfriend?) was visiting her often enough that they ought to be regarded as cohabitants.

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Tøsen
20 hours ago, Balthazar said:

My grandmother who lives in totalitarian Denmark can vouch for this. At the age of seventy-something she had her state benefit reduced due to neighbors informing the authorities that her boyfriend (can a seventy-something guy be called a boyfriend?) was visiting her often

this story is amusing and insightful but I don't think the motivation is the same. Taxes are high in Denmark and if anyone cheats in such a small country it is the your "neighbour" who will be paying for someone cheating the system. For example there are instances of people claiming benefits (very high in Denmark) but at the same has a job for which he does not pay tax but he doesn't declare it. That puts pressure on the welfare system. I can understand why neighbours make examples out of it. They want to keep a good system.

Whereas the motivation for ratting on your neighbour in China has a  different motivation. Any ideas which?

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Balthazar
27 minutes ago, Tøsen said:

this story is amusing and insightful but I don't think the motivation is the same. Taxes are high in Denmark and if anyone cheats in such a small country it is the your "neighbour" who will be paying for someone cheating the system

 Not in this anecdotal case, though. Without wanting to go to far into details, the neighbor (we all know who she was) bore a personal grudge and knew very well that they were in fact not cohabitants. I should have mentioned that the decision to reduce the benefit was eventually overturned after a lengthy appellation process (but was made effective while the appeal process was ongoing), there were not found to be sufficient grounds to regard them as cohabitants.

 

My point was merely that neighbors being suspicious of and in some cases ratting on each other in a fairly common phenomenon everywhere, whether or not the motivations are commonly less "noble" in authoritarian countries I do not know.

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imron
9 minutes ago, Balthazar said:

My point was merely that neighbors being suspicious of and in some cases ratting on each other in a fairly common phenomenon everywhere

See for example Home Owner Associations in the U.S.

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Tøsen

@Balthazar I get your point.

I want to add that cheating the welfare system is considered a crime so they probably  have to report it.

Perhaps the motivation may be the same after all :-)

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