Part of complete coverage on
Football fans in China buy fake sick notes ahead of World Cup
June 10, 2014 -- Updated 0654 GMT (1454 HKT)
A Chinese website offers sick notes from a Beijing hospital.
- World Cup matches will take place while most people should be asleep in China
- To deal with the inconvenient game schedule, workers are taking bogus sick leave
- Vendors sell fake doctor's notes online for as much as $50
(CNN) -- The World Cup is apparently making a lot of people "ill" in China.
Football fans are preparing for the kick off the biggest sporting event of the year by purchasing fake sick notes online.
Most World Cup matches will take place in Brazil when it is past midnight in China, or in the early hours between 3 and 6 a.m. The schedule has Chinese media dramatically referring to this year's competition as "the World Cup with the greatest time difference in history."
To catch those pre-dawn games, fans are resorting to claiming sick leave by purchasing fake doctor's notes through e-commerce sites such as Taobao.
Rats sold as beef in China
Apple legal headache over iPad in China
Standard pads of sick notes have always been available on the site, for as little as RMB 1 ($0.16) per pack. But to get a note that looks authentic, with a hospital's stamp and a convincing diagnostic scrawl from a doctor, it will cost up to RMB 300 ($50) per note, local media reports.
One football fan said he was considering purchasing sick leave slips online for the thrill of watching games as they happened.
"Recordings of matches are meaningless, only live broadcasts are fun. If I stay up all night to watch the games, I will be so sleepy the next day and my boss will scold me," the man surnamed Liu told Sina News.
Direct searches for fake sick notes won't work on e-commerce sites such as Taobao. To get around the illegality of selling fraudulent notes, vendors title their items as "proof of diagnosis note."
Sina also reported that one online vendor was claiming to offer sick notes with consultation records registered at a Beijing hospital, at double the price of notes without registered records.
To prevent employees taking fake sick leave, one IT company in Guangdong province has made a rare offer of three days paid leave to employees who wish to watch World Cup matches, according to local media.
Fake sick notes made headlines in China in 2012 when a postal worker in Hong Kong used 130 doctor's notes bought from Taobao to scam more than HK$217,000 (about $28,000) in sick leave allowance as well as 635 days of leave in the span of four years.
Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption found pads of blank doctor's notes as well as bogus doctor's stamps at the 40-year-old offender's home.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 0153 GMT (0953 HKT)
China is building an island in the South China Sea that could accommodate an airstrip, according to IHS Jane's Defence Weekly.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1057 GMT (1857 HKT)
North Korean refugees face a daunting journey to reach asylum in South Korea, with gangs of smugglers the only option.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
China and "probably one or two other" countries have the capacity to shut down the nation's power grid and other critical infrastructure.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1039 GMT (1839 HKT)
It'd be hard to find another country that has spent as much, and as furiously, as China on giving its next generation a head start.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 0532 GMT (1332 HKT)
In 1985, Meng Weina set up China's first private special needs school in the southern city of Guangzhou.
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 2014 GMT (0414 HKT)
Despite China's inexorable economic rise, the U.S. is still an indispensable ally, especially in Asia. No one knows this more than the Asian giant's leaders, writes Kerry Brown.
November 13, 2014 -- Updated 0338 GMT (1138 HKT)
For the United States and China to announce a plan reducing carbon emissions by almost a third by the year 2030 is a watershed moment for climate politics on so many fronts.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 2026 GMT (0426 HKT)
China shows off its new stealth fighter jet, but did it steal the design from an American company? Brian Todd reports.
November 11, 2014 -- Updated 0101 GMT (0901 HKT)
Airshow China in Zhuhai provides a rare glimpse of China's military and commercial aviation hardware.
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
A new exchange initiative aims to bridge relations between the two countries .
November 11, 2014 -- Updated 0551 GMT (1351 HKT)
Xi and Abe's brief summit featured all the enthusiasm of two unhappy schoolboys forced to make up after a schoolyard dust-up.
November 11, 2014 -- Updated 0112 GMT (0912 HKT)
Maybe you've decided to show your partner love with a new iPhone. But how about 99 of them?
November 3, 2014 -- Updated 0219 GMT (1019 HKT)
Can China's Muslim minority fit in? One school is at the heart of an ambitious experiment to assimilate China's Uyghurs.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 1455 GMT (2255 HKT)
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is one of thousands of Americans learning Chinese.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 0500 GMT (1300 HKT)
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou says he needs to maintain good economic ties with China while trying to keep Beijing's push for reunification at bay.
October 30, 2014 -- Updated 0528 GMT (1328 HKT)
Chinese drone-maker DJI wants to make aerial photography drones mainstream despite concerns about privacy.
October 29, 2014 -- Updated 0518 GMT (1318 HKT)
A top retired general confesses to taking bribes, becoming the highest-profile figure in China's military to be caught up in war on corruption.