Chinese online stores provide paid service for people to rant about fictional TV character

By Chen Xi Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/10 21:03:40

Photo: Snapshot of Taobao

Online stores on Chinese ecommerce sites such as Taobao and Xianyu have begun introducing a service that offers customers the opportunity to vent their anger at the fictional character of Lin Youyou, the young woman who seduces a rich married man in the Chinese drama Nothing But Thirty.

According to an introduction from one store on Taobao, customers can choose to complain about the character to an employee at the store. For those who aren't interested in talking, they can also opt to just listen to an employee rake the character over the coals about her behavior. 

"Please use our service rationally as too many orders will diminish the quality of our customer service employee's rants. The service is for entertainment only. Please do not relate the service to the actress," read the introduction to the service. 

Similar services on Xianyu run about one (14 cents) to three yuan, while some on Taobao can reach to 10 yuan. 

One employee at the Taobao store told the Global Times that one session lasts five minutes, and involves communicating with employees on Taobao's text messenger app. 

"After listening to the customer service, I feel much more refreshed," one customer wrote in a review about one online store.

Several store owners told the Global Times that they launched the service for fun and because they came to hate the character after watching the drama. 

Some owners said the plan to only focus on complaining about the character of Lin and that they plan to close up shop once the show is no longer popular, while others said they are considering expanding the service to encompass other fictional characters that people find distasteful. 

Some netizens expressed their surprise that such a store exists. 

"It is so interesting and funny that calling someone names could be a profitable business," one netizen wrote.

However, some netizens said they find the service unnecessary since social media platforms such as China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo are already good places to vent one's feelings. 


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