'Sick notes' for sale as World Cup fever grips China

The 11-hour time difference between China and Brazil has given Chinese wheeler-dealers a lucrative opportunity selling fake sick notes to football fans staying up all night to watch World Cup games. A search on Chinese search engine Baidu revealed that there is no shortage of vendors providing photocopies of hospital certificates with official stamps and doctor’s signatures in their “product catalogue.” The soon-to-be-unwell can pick from a range of illnesses, from fever and fractures to abortion and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)–the infectious disease that caused hundreds of fatalities in China in 2003.

The World Cup is coming and the huge time difference may affect Chinese football fans’ watching all the games. I hereby launch the sick notes providing service to meet the demand.

Online vendor selling sick notes

Sick notes are mostly sold at 20 yuan (US$3.20) each on one social networking website popular among students and graduates. Such documents have long been available in China, where corruption is frequent and fake goods of all kinds are for sale.