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'Students' from China's prestigious universities charge for guiding visitors around their campuses

CGTN | Updated: 2017-08-18 10:12

The tourist demand to enter the campuses of Tsinghua University and Peking University in Beijing has become so high in recent years that it has even prompted a controversial new business mode recently, raising the question whether a place for study should become a vociferous scenic spot.

Chongtian Education Company launched a chargeable service on Taobao, one of China's leading e-commerce platforms, featuring "students" from Tsinghua and Peking universities conducting tours for tourists in these top universities' campuses, Beijing Youth Daily reported on Thursday.

The company was boasted for their efficient service, introducing that except students from these two top universities in China would take and guide visitors in the campus, they will also take photos for the customers and share their learning methods with kids.

The service price tag is 99 yuan (14.8 US dollars) for half an hour, and the minimum touring time is one hour. If tourists' number increases to some extent, they have to pay for extra money per person.

Although admission to either campus is officially free of charge, both Tsinghua and Peking universities have imposed a time limit on the visitors they allow every day.

Peking University restricts individual tourists' access to its campus between the hours of 7:30 to 11:30 and 14:00 to 17:00, while group visitors can book the university entry online. However, Tsinghua University has cancelled the campus visiting in workdays since Monday, as the academic institution started its new term at that day.

According to Beijing Youth Daily, Yang Yu (pseudonym), who claimed himself graduated from Peking University three years ago, sneaking tourists into the university campus by falsely claiming they are his relatives.

Yang said the service has become a viral hit since it began. The young man himself has to guide two groups of tourists a day and each group for about four hours.

Passenger flow of Peking University can reach to 5,000 to 6,000 people per day, people with credentials like student card and alumni card can bring as many as three people into the campus, according to a public security of Peking University.

As for Chongtian's service, the public security said they have encountered similar illicit scalping behaviors, but they do not have rights to stop these people, only hoping the university to fine them when CCTV cameras captured the scene.

As the best universities in China, Tsinghua and Peking universities come in at the top of most Chinese parent's wish list for their children. According to report of China Youth Daily earlier this month, many parents lined up for more than two hours to enter the two top universities' campuses, hoping such a tour could be a way to encourage their children's studies. And Chongtian's service just perfectly matches the parents' wish, becoming a way to inspire their children to study hard and wishing them to have a competitive edge in school later.

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