Chinese woman undergoes plastic surgery to evade $5 million debt

SHANGHAI  - A 59-year old woman from the central Chinese city of Wuhan transformed her appearance through plastic surgery in order to avoid 25 million yuan (US$3.71 million or S$5.02 million) of personal debts, state news agency Xinhua said.

In a case highlighting the challenges facing China as it tries to establish a "credit society", police officers were reported to be "astonished" after apprehending the woman, who fled to the southeastern Chinese city of Shenzhen after a court in Wuhan ordered her to pay off her debt.

"We were very surprised at the scene," the official Xinhua news agency quoted a policeman as saying. "She looked in her thirties and was different from the photos we had."

The woman, identified as Zhu Najuan, also confessed to using other people's identity cards to travel across the country by train. She financed her plastic surgery using borrowed bank cards, Xinhua said late on Friday.

Chinese woman, 59, undergoes plastic surgery to evade $5 million debt

  • A 59-year old woman from Wuhan transformed her appearance through plastic surgery in order to avoid 25 million yuan (US$3.71 million or S$5.02 million) of personal debts, state news agency Xinhua said.
  • In a case highlighting the challenges facing China as it tries to establish a "credit society", police officers were reported to be "astonished" after apprehending the woman, who fled to the southeastern Chinese city of Shenzhen after a court in Wuhan ordered her to pay off her debt.
  • "We were very surprised at the scene," the official Xinhua news agency quoted a policeman as saying. "She looked in her thirties and was different from the photos we had."
  • The woman, identified as Zhu Najuan, also confessed to using other people's identity cards to travel across the country by train.
  • She financed her plastic surgery using borrowed bank cards, Xinhua said.

Representatives from more than 300 Chinese cities released a declaration earlier in July promising to make more credit available for consumer spending, part of the country's efforts to find new sources of economic growth and reduce its dependence on heavy industry and state-driven infrastructure investment.

But as the country strives to make more credit available to individuals, it is also facing a surge in household debt, which is estimated to have reached around 50 per cent of gross domestic product last year, more than doubling in less than a decade.

As regulators try to establish a reliable nationwide credit rating system, authorities across the country are also exploring new ways to crack down on those who do not pay debts.

According to state media, one court in Jiangsu province has drawn up a blacklist of defaulters. Anyone who telephones an individual on the blacklist will first be forced to listen to a pre-recorded message saying "please urge this person to fulfil their legal obligations".

Xinhua said the city of Wuhan has also launched a series of crackdowns on debt defaulters, and detained a total of 186 people in the first half of the year.

K-pop girl group praise plastic surgery beauty

  • Rounder eyes, narrower faces, bigger breasts: a South Korean girlband is celebrating the country's obsession with surgically-enhanced beauty by going under the knife to praise the virtues of "Becoming Pretty".
  • All four members of obscure K-pop outfit SixBomb went through extensive plastic surgery, from nose jobs to breast implants, before releasing their new single
  • SixBomb were founded in 2012 and have released five albums, but have yet to become major stars
  • and with their members now in their mid-20s, time could be running out for them in a youth-driven market.
  • The project was funded by their management, which spent 100 million won for "almost every kind of surgery that could be done on a face" and breast implants
  • It has raised questions over the South's ultra-competitive, looks-obsessed society, where physical features enhance social standing and can help secure jobs, with many recruitment adverts requiring a "neat appearance" and a CV with photo.
  • SixBomb's lead singer Dain had her breasts enlarged and her cheekbones shaved to make her face look smaller for the song.
  • "We all wanted to get some surgeries done to look prettier... and thought, 'Why not perform a song about it instead of trying to conceal it?'" she said.
  • None of the four were forced to go through surgery, they said, although rapper Soa had to think "long and hard" before having the "double eyelid" procedure to make eyes wider and rounder.
  • "I really liked and was satisfied with my previous eyes, so I had to think long and hard before deciding to take part in this concept," Soa said.
  • Jung Hye-Yoon (Ga-Bin) with a photo of herself before her plastic surgery
  • Lee So-Young (Seul-Bee) with a photo of herself before her plastic surgery