Qiangshou” (pronounced chiang-show) literally means “hired gun.” Originally, this term referred to writers making their living by selling articles and scripts for low prices. Over time, the meaning has evolved to mean someone performing a task in the name of others. In the Chinese education world, qiangshou refers to a person who has been hired to sit an examination or interview under a false name.

But who are these people? Poor and in desperate need of money? Or rich and just simply looking for some adventure in their lives?

This opinion piece (in Mandarin Chinese) encourages readers to consider the lives of those who become Qiangshous. Have at it if you can read Mandarin Chinese or want to use Google Translate.

If not, here are the three most interesting takeaways you should know about:

1. Most of the Qiangshous who take the Gaokao college entrance exam for others, are from the countryside.

2. Kids from the countryside are willing to become Qiangshous for a reward of RMB70-80K. This is a great deal of money for them and this payment can even cover their own college tuition fees.

3. Parents in the countryside believe there’s great honor in having their kids sit in a test for their bosses and/or other important people’s kids.

Read a past Vericant blog post about understanding China’s “Qiangshou” for more hired gun information!


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