碰瓷 (pèng cí), a term in Beijing dialect, refers to some malicious and illegal behaviors intended for the blackmail purpose.
It is said that the declined bannermen (八旗子弟, bā qí zǐ dì) in late Qing Dynasty first invented "碰瓷 (pèng cí)". They walked across the busy streets every day, carrying a counterfeit but "expensive" porcelain ware. When a carriage was passing by, they got themselves hit by the passing carriage deliberately, followed by crush of the porcelain ware. Then, they stopped the carriage owner, claiming for the compensation.
The Chinese slang term "碰瓷 (pèng cí)", which means "touching porcelain" literally, is also a jargon in the antique industry. Some ill-intended merchants will deliberately place some fragile porcelain wares in the middle of passage ways, waiting for some customer to break them accidentally, so they can blackmail the customer accordingly.
The latest meaning of "碰瓷 (pèng cí)" refers to the elderly who deliberately lie down in front of vehicles, pretending to have been injured and then asking the driver for compensation. In other cases, some car drivers may deliberately collide his car with another motor vehicle to claim for compensation. Such a behavior is also called "碰瓷 (pèng cí)".
As time goes on, "碰瓷 (pèng cí)", an illegal behavior usually seen in the densely populated cities and rural areas, has caused social insecurity. Therefore, one should be more careful when dealing with such a behavior.
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