Chinese venue apologizes after being accused of giving foreigners special treatment

By Linh Le   September 18, 2023 | 06:12 pm PT
Shengshi Tangcheng, a tourist destination in China’s central Hubei province, issued a public apology after being accused of forcing Chinese visitors to spare seats for foreigners.
Seats at an event venue. Photo illustration by Freepil

Seats at an event venue. Photo illustration by Freepil

The event came to public attention after a four-million-follower Douyin user, who goes by the name Lanzhanfei, posted a video in which he accused the tourist site of discriminating against local visitors, reported the South China Morning Post.

According to Lanzhanfei, even though visitors had to pay 126 yuan ($17) for a ticket to watch a night performance at the site, many domestic tourists had to stand as a section of the seating area at the site was exclusively reserved for foreigners, reported Indian news site Moneycontrol.

He added that he felt even more frustrated when the site announced that they would postpone the performance by seven minutes to wait for foreign visitors to arrive.

Garnering 4 millions views since its publication, the video sparked outrage online, prompting the site’s board of management to publish an apology on its WeChat account. It also offered one-year entrance passes to visitors that bought tickets to the show on that day as compensation for the inconvenience they might have experienced. But many netizens said the note did little to relieve the fury caused.

"The apology is not sincere at all," one netizen wrote.

However, things took a twist when another Douyin user named Duojisheying uploaded a video that showed Lanzhanfei refusing a staff of the site when offered a seat in an area with a better view of the stage.

As someone who had gone to the attraction and watched the performance many times, Duojisheying also clarified that the show was often postponed to ensure the safety of the speculators.

Duojisheying’s claim has since had many netizens questioning the legitimacy of Lanzhanfei’s video and his intentions.

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