Spend money at hotels, restaurants, bars, petrol stations – pretty much any formal service establishment in China and you get to play a Scratch card game. This has to be the biggest scratch card game in the world. Here’s how it works….
Ask for a receipt – Fapiao (发票). These are official invoices, registered at the local tax bureau, which are used as proof-of-purchase of a good or service.
The government introduced a new series of fapiao in 2002, where cash prizes can be won just by scratching the “prize area” on every fixed-quota fapiao.
Machine-printed fapiao for restaurants, hotels and other entertainment areas also have the “prize area”. They are often bilingual.
Every Fapiao has two scratch areas:
- Award Area. This may be detachable – don’t detach this area at any costs if you have just won a prize! It is best to keep this area undetached.
- Password area is more useful for determining if this is a real fapiao or not and should not be touched.
The Government Tax Authorities are giving away cash prizes to encourage people to ask for official receipts.
As customers will ask service providers for official receipts to enjoy the game, this in turn forces service providers to make proper declarations to the Government.
Lots of other promotions or products can be added to the mix instead of pure cash prizes – some of these 100 Must Have Products for restaurants & bars could work, but for big brands best to have custom prizes.
In case you were wondering, we lost the game so all staff had to return to work in Shanghai office this afternoon.