Alipay online payment platform has come to the rescue of ‘good samaritans’ who are stung for helping elderly people in trouble.
The scam has reached the point where the Beijing city government has drawn up draft legislation to put a stop to this.
Alipay is now offering ‘ helping elderly insurance ’ to responsible citizens. Stranger things have happened, but needing insurance cover for this? Here are a few examples of why you might be glad you took it out.
Incidents Where Alipay ‘ Helping Elderly Insurance ’ Might Have Helped
- In 2014, Wu Weiqing chose to assist an elderly pedestrian in Guangdong Province who appeared to be the victim of a hit and run. After the pedestrian demanded compensation from him, Wu killed himself. He simply did not have the money or the will to fight back.
- This problem is not new either. In 2009, a court ordered a Chinese citizen who came to the aid of an elderly woman to pay 1,000 Yuan ($160) compensation. The court reasoned that ‘he would not have helped if he was not responsible’.
There are two common threads running through what has become a string of similar incidents. These are allegations that the good samaritan either caused the incident, or was hoping to extort a reward.
Nut and Bolts of Insurance Policy to Protect Against This
Alibaba’s Alipay says it launched its Helping Elderly Insurance Policy to ‘promote a helpful spirit and kindness in society’. It already has 26,000 users, while admitting that ‘some have called the insurance a marketing ploy’. The scheme backed by Sinosafe provides cover to a maximum 20,000 Yuan ($3,200) although it will investigate all Alipay claims before paying out.
Is This a Sign of Declining Moral Fibre in China?
I do not believe it is. In fact, I derive great comfort from knowing that if I am in difficulty in China someone will come to my assistance. I learned one thing while reporting on this trend though. Good samaritans should travel in pairs in future. They might need this as an added insurance against trouble.