Health insurance companies in China offer discounts if you can prove that you get enough exercise every day using the mobile phone’s activity monitors. However, people don’t actually go for walks and fool their smartphones into thinking that they are walking using an ingenious technique.
They use these devices called mobile phone cradles. A Chinese comedian Dashan spotted it in a restaurant in Harbin and tweeted the picture. The people use this trick to fool the phone Pedometer apps into recording thousands of steps artificially while the users relax.
Seen at a Harbin restaurant: swinging cradle for your phone, I'm told to cheat the "10k steps/day" test & qualify for health insurance discounts, presumably while you relax, eat & drink more, or have another cigarette. pic.twitter.com/LV0leTduAU
— ?? Dashan (@akaDashan) April 28, 2018
Dashan himself admitted that some Chinese health insurance providers do offer discounts if it can be proved that the users walk at least 10,000 steps every day. These mobile phone cradles are used as an alternative to actual exercise. The cradle records your non-existent movement even if you are taking a nap.
These type of mobile phone cradle devices are very popular in China right now. Going through commerce platforms such as Taobao or Tmall shows hundreds of such products in different shapes and sizes but serving the same function of cheating the pedometer app on the smartphone.
Another blog post showed that students also make use of the mobile phone cradle in order to get out of exercising. Apparently, some schools in China require students to walk or exercise every day and check their smartphone pedometer apps routinely.
The users also use these devices for a good purpose as well. A charity allows donating steps. These steps are converted into real currency and go towards helping the group of people that the charity is targetting. However, this is not the only way the Chinese are cheating the pedometer apps. The video below shows different means.