‘Exam cheating machine brand’ linked to 100,000 devices across China

Arrests in May over devices using earpieces and screens has led to allegations involving 12 groups as investigation spreads nationwide, police say

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 July, 2018, 8:55pm
UPDATED : Friday, 06 July, 2018, 11:40pm

A brand of exam cheating machine allegedly masterminded by a man arrested by Chinese police in May has been linked to more than 100,000 of the devices seized across China as investigations continue, local media reported.

The 47-year-old suspect, surnamed Li, had been arrested at his office in Shenzhen in southern China’s Guangdong province on May 24, when 100,000 parts were seized, Hubei Daily reported on Tuesday.

His arrest came after police seized more than 1,000 devices and detained seven other people in relation to their sale in Hubei and Sichuan provinces, the report said.

Police have since caught 12 other groups producing and selling the machine and found more than 100,000 devices based on information uncovered in Li’s case, the report stated, quoting local police.

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Operations launched in March have targeted about 280 people from the 12 groups allegedly involved in producing and selling the devices, and eight exam training schools who allegedly bought them.

Li’s brand, Heyun, accounted for 60 per cent of devices seized, the report said.

Using a small earphone and a screen built into a fake calculator or eraser, the devices are used to relay answers to students sitting exams from up to 3km (2 miles) away, and are designed to be difficult to detect with metal detectors.

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Li was charged in 2014 with producing and selling spying equipment and sentenced to 19 months in jail, the report said.

The present operation began when police noticed two technology companies selling the devices online from Hubei, it said.

A spokesman from the cybersecurity unit of the police in the southwestern province of Sichuan told the South China Morning Post on Friday that the devices were seized across China and also found in other countries in Southeast Asia, although there was no evidence that the devices were distributed in Hong Kong.