Chinese driver caught with false plates said ‘real’ 888 sign too showy

Woman’s explanation to traffic police meets with disbelief online in China where car plates with the lucky number eight can fetch huge prices

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 January, 2018, 4:27pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 January, 2018, 5:29pm

A woman motorist claimed to police she was driving a car with a false licence plate because the real one was too showy as it had the numbers 888, considered a sign of good luck in China and often fetching huge prices at auction.

The woman was stopped by police in Jinan in Shandong province on Monday and was found to have false plates on her grey Audi, the news website Thepaper.cn reported. She was also driving without a licence, according to the report.

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The woman, whose full name was not given, was quoted as telling the officer that her real plate number was too brash with its high number of eights so she opted to use a fake one.

The woman was detained by police and is likely to face punishment for traffic offences, according to the article.

Eight sounds similar to the word for making a fortune in Mandarin and three eights is considered trebly auspicious.

A “lucky” licence plate with the numbers 28 sold for HK$18.1 million (US$2.3 million) two years ago, The New York Times reported.

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Some internet users said they found the woman’s explanation for using false plates hard to believe and a ploy to try to get off the hook.

“She has money, but no brain,” one person wrote.

Another said: “Such a low IQ. How come she can drive an Audi?”