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  • Chinese-style Intellitax, did you pay this already?

    Post by : expatree

Recently a new Chinese buzzword is headlined in medias, “Intellitax” (Intelligence Tax or IQ Tax), in Chinese characters, it’s called “智商税” (zhi shang shui). This is nothing to do with any tax technology instead it starts from a painful lesson that Chinese consumers paid for “overvalued” product or service affected by deceitful flowery words of advertising. Unfortunately not limited to shopping, “Intellitax” becomes a quite phenomenal public issues in marketing, entertainment, finance, even in education. In a Chinese saying “人傻钱多” (ren sha qian duo), it looks like an idiot is not tired by wasting money or being cheated, which reflects a crisis of trust behind impetuous and money driven social values.
While it was approaching Double 11 online shopping festival, the “Chinese-style” marketing in both Tmall and Taobao platforms played all kinds of “incentive cards” to win public attention, “% discount”, “buy 1 get 1”, “buy XXX get XXX off”, “shop coupon”, “cross-shops coupon”, “preorder deposit offset”, “ask friend to help cut off” etc. After calculating these complex rules, some shrewd consumer found the actual benefit is only 20-30 RMB discount. Why make this so complicated? Too many terms and conditions confuse consumers as well as try to test their numerical calculation skill.
Video: Double 11 "discount secret" disclosure 

​If “marketing bubble” is a first step to get people trapped, the trending of selection shows another ironic fact. Which book you would choose between “Statistics textbook” and “Lottery walkthrough”? In a Taobao shop, almost people prefer “winner shortcut”, obviously the “Lottery walkthrough” attracted more followers by 196 books a month  sales volume, it’s a huge gap that sale figure of “Statistics textbook” is 2 books only.
Left: Lottery walkthrough, Right: Statistics textbook
In entertainment, Chinese audience sometimes have to pay “Intellitax” for arrogant young celebrity. One typical incident is a Chinese actress never came to film set and her close-up show was totally replaced by “Photo Cutout” of photoshop tool. This not only harmed audience’s feeling and other crews’ contribution but also it provokes a violation of actress ethics.

Drama photo: “Photo Cutout” effect by photoshop tool
In addition “Parents Committee” election in one Shanghai primary school is a new hot topic in wechat discussion. The initial purpose is to establish committee as a bridge to enable every parent to communicate with the school more directly and smoothly. However this beautiful story has a sudden change after parents start show off their “STRONG” resume and background, blowing up a heavy wealth comparing phenomenon.
“I’m afraid this committee just serve for the children of those rich and powerful parents, if yes my kid would move to another place.
“It’s a CEO election rather than parents committee members. With no doubt we have to keep ‘good’ relation with those parents to benefit our children.
Like some parents’ comments, it’s better to take sides as early as possible in order to avoid unexpected “Intellitax” paid.
 Image: Parents show strong resume and background
Some expats might experience a well-known email incident of Nigerian Money Scam, similar to this “Intellitax” tells us it definitely works for the online courses. For example, a Chinese online course announced student can quickly become a master of financial analysis in one hour lesson. It was unbelievable that more than 100 people firmly accepted this promise and then paid money.
In China “Intellitax” has been applied everywhere these days, even a casual observer is no exception. We survive in the age of “everyone has desire for success, everyone desires to get rich”, but what is our contribution to the value of society?

Top image source: guancha
Date:2017-11-11 16:01:36
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