This week around 10 million students across China have sat the Gaokao – a college entrance exam which determines their entire future.
Hanging over their heads, though, is the recent revelation that hundreds of other students before them were victim to an identity theft scandal which saw them robbed of their results.
For Chen Chunxiu, it was an exam that could change everything. Doing well in the Gaokao meant the farmer’s daughter had a shot of getting into her dream university. Failing meant it would remain just that – a dream.
Denied admission to college, she took up various jobs – a factory worker, a waitress – before eventually becoming a kindergarten teacher.
But 16 years later, she found to her shock that she had, in fact, earned a place at the Shandong University of Technology – and enrolled there.
But it hadn’t been her. Her score – and in fact, her entire identity – was stolen by a girl whose relatives had pulled strings to make this happen.