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
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
A smuggler in Dandong, a Chinese border town near North Korea, tells CNN about the underground trade with North Korean soldiers
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 0654 GMT (1454 HKT)
Yenn Wong got quite a surprise one morning earlier this month when she found out an exact copy of her Hong Kong restaurant had opened in China.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 0315 GMT (1115 HKT)
When I first came across a "virtual lover" service on e-commerce site Taobao, China's version of Amazon, I thought it was hype.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1315 GMT (2115 HKT)
Each year Yi Jiefeng does what she can to stop China turning into a desert.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1454 GMT (2254 HKT)
As its relationship with the West worsen, Russia is pivoting east in an attempt to secure business with China.
October 8, 2014 -- Updated 0229 GMT (1029 HKT)
Aspiring Chinese comics performing in Shanghai's underground comedy scene hope to bring stand-up to the masses.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1654 GMT (0054 HKT)
Liu Wen is one of the world's highest-paid models and the first Chinese face to crack the top five in Forbes' annual list of top earners.
October 3, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
Cunning wolf? Working class hero? Or bland Beijing loyalist? C.Y. Leung was a relative unknown when he came to power in 2012.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1125 GMT (1925 HKT)
App hopes to help those seeking a way out of China's overstrained public health system.
October 3, 2014 -- Updated 0020 GMT (0820 HKT)
Yards from pro-democracy protests, stands the Hong Kong garrison of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), China's armed forces.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
The massive street rallies that have swept Hong Kong present a major dilemma for China's leadership.
September 27, 2014 -- Updated 0707 GMT (1507 HKT)
Chinese wine drinkers need to develop a taste for the cheap stuff, not just premium red wines like Lafite.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 0109 GMT (0909 HKT)
The Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, set off a media kerfuffle this month when he spoke about his next reincarnation.
September 28, 2014 -- Updated 1418 GMT (2218 HKT)
He's one of the fieriest political activists in Hong Kong — he's been called an "extremist" by China's state-run media — and he's not old enough to drive.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0257 GMT (1057 HKT)
China has no wine-making tradition but the country now uncorks more bottles of red than any other.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 0929 GMT (1729 HKT)
Christians in eastern China keep watch in Wenzhou, where authorities have demolished churches and removed crosses.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 0538 GMT (1338 HKT)
Home-grown hip-hop appeals to a younger generation but its popularity has not translated into record deals and profits for budding rap artists.