Chinese social media has been flooded with videos of people trying on expensive jewelry and then pretending to run out of the store, while filming the, often over-the-top (literally), reactions of the unsuspecting jewelers.
Panicked staff members are caught unawares and typically vault the shop counter and sprint after the ‘robbers’ who quickly stop and pretend like absolutely nothing has happened.
The challenge of the “jewellery-stealing prank” is to record the most over-the-top reactions from loyal shop assistants, who typically end up performing a sheepish about-face as the trolling customer nonchalantly checks themselves out in the mirror while remaining inside the shop.
It is just the latest in a series of online trends that have taken off across Asia including “Falling stars” or “flaunt your wealth” fad which is believed to have originated in Russia.
The current “jewellery-stealing prank” is thought to have been inspired by Indonesian “Instagram influencer” Harvinth Skin who duped a shoe store employee into chasing after him only to watch Skin casually jog back into the store. The video has been viewed over a million times on Instagram alone.
“I’m sorry I gave you a heart attack my bro,” Skin wrote, calling for the store to give the employee a raise.
Meanwhile in China, the viral videos shared on the video app TikTok (known as Douyin) are becoming a source of frustration for the social media company that hosts them and authorities in the country.
Douyin was ordered to clean up its content after it was discovered that the platform hosted images that insulted Chinese national heroes. It began censoring and removing such viral videos, including one trend where people would dance in and out of elevators while filming themselves, back in July.
The People’s Daily newspaper described the viral video trends as “a threat to the safety of oneself and others” and “vulgar and dangerous.”
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