Property developer in Central China under fire for publicity stunt related to floods causing 29 deaths
Published: Jul 21, 2021 04:43 PM
Residents wade through a flooded street in Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan Province on Tuesday. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Residents wade through a flooded street in Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan Province on Tuesday. Photo: Li Hao/GT


A property developer in Central China's Henan Province apologized to the public on Wednesday after its publicity stunt that took advantage of the storms and floods currently sweeping across the province came under fire on Tuesday evening. The disaster has caused 16 deaths as of press time.

The Zhengzhou-based property developer on Tuesday released a controversial advertisement poster to promote its residential project, boasting it as occupying a high-altitude location. 

Screenshot from Sina Weibo

Screenshot from Sina Weibo

The poster with the capitalized headline of "HIGHLAND" in English, boasting that to people moving into their "highland properties, storms will turn into scenery."

According to the illustrations on the poster, the residential project is located at an altitude of as high as 164.35 meters, even higher than two famous tourist attractions in Zhengzhou, the hometown of the country's legendary ancestor Huangdi or the Yellow Emperor (92.35 meters), and the Erqi Memorial Tower (81.39 meters) built in memory of the Workers' Union of the Beijing-Hankou Railway strike that started in Zhengzhou on February 4, 1923. 

The poster drew a slew of criticism from the public upon its release on Tuesday evening with many internet users criticizing that the company should not have produced such a malicious marketing at a critical moment. 

"I wonder how such an advertisement can promote sales. It is not only malicious, but also stupid. Such an advert that takes advantage of others' misfortune can only ignite public anger instead of stimulating sales," a netizen commented on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, the record-high storms and floods sweeping through the province have caused at least 25 deaths in Zhengzhou city and four deaths in Gongyi city. 

On Wednesday morning, the property company issued an apology statement claiming that the advert had been immediately deleted and the company has set up a special team to conduct a rigorous review on the incident. Related personnel in charge will be fired, demoted or have their pay cut. 

Global Times