The Ministry of Public Security has coordinated local authorities in a crackdown on criminal gangs that manufactured and sold high-tech devices for cheating on the upcoming national college entrance examination, known as the gaokao, which starts on the morning of June 7.
The campaign, launched in Liaoning, Shandong, Hubei, Guangdong and Sichuan provinces and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region in late May, resulted in the busting of 12 criminal gangs and the seizure of over 100,000 sets of wireless devices for cheating, the ministry said in a statement on June 5.
An official from the ministry said that the illegal production, sale and use of wireless cheating equipment seriously jeopardizes the security of the examination, and undermines social justice and the credibility of the system.
In late May, local authorities around the country arrested more than 50 criminal suspects from 12 criminal gangs, destroyed six equipment production lines and eight sales dens, and seized more than 100,000 sets of wireless equipment. The money involved amounted to several hundred million yuan, or many tens of millions of dollars.
Since February, the ministry has taken action against cybercrime and cracked down on technological cheating aides, the illegal production and sale of eavesdropping equipment and examination fraud. Police have smashed more than 100 gangs and arrested over 500 suspects.
Chu Zhaohui, a senior researcher at the National Institute of Education Sciences, said the ways students cheat are constantly changing, and efforts to prevent cheating should be appreciated.
“This is necessary, because for an exam that affects students’ future development, fairness should be guaranteed,” he said.
Apart from the anti-cheating campaign targeting criminal gangs, high-tech measures such as facial recognition and fingerprint verification systems have also been used to prevent cheating on the gaokao since 2016.
China listed cheating in the exam as a criminal act in its amended Criminal Law, which came into effect on Nov 1, 2015.
A total of 9.75 million Chinese students will sit for the 2018 national college entrance exam, according to the Ministry of Education.