How a Video in Chengdu Landed These Lovers in Hot Water

By Alistair Baker-Brian, June 9, 2023

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The Chinese internet has been abuzz over recent days with revelations of an affair between two employees of a state-owned company – all of which started with a seemingly innocent video shot at the Taikoo Li retail center in Chengdu, provincial capital of Sichuan. 

See the video below: 

Anyone who’s visited Taikoo Li – in Chengdu, Beijing or elsewhere – will know that it’s something of a destination for wanghong, or internet celebrities, and seeing people using professional camera equipment to take photos and videos is nothing out of the ordinary.

It was when the couple in the video above were identified that the whole thing started to blow up. 

It turns out that the 27-year-old female in the video, surnamed Dong, was an employee of state-owned company, Sinopec, or China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation.

The male, surnamed Hu (believed to be in his fifties) with whom she was holding hands was her colleague. 

Dong and Hu have now been suspended from their positions and are being investigated. 

Netizens wasted no time in creating memes about the case, many of which focused on the couple’s choices of outfit. 


The Sinopec logo remodelled using Dong and Hu's outfits. Image via Weibo/@合肥M先森


The text reads, "Walk down the street with me in Chengdu." Image via Weibo/@合肥M先森

Others did some digging into Dong’s past, finding social media posts which showed off her love for expensive designer jewelry items, as well as photos showing off her more risqué side (we’ll keep things family friendly by not posting those photos here). 

The case also led to discussion regarding rules for photographing members of the public. According to Xinmin Evening Times, an employee of Chengdu Taikoo Li said the following:  

“Currently, there is no complete ban on filming. In order to ensure customers’ shopping experience, we do not support photography which infringes on the image rights of members of the public, nor do we support unauthorized commercial filming.” 

The employee added that members of the public would be prevented by Taikoo Li staff from filming “sneakily,” following individuals for the purpose of filming and filming in a way which would affect the normal operations of businesses. 

I suppose if you’re in the business of catching couples having an affair, you’ll have do it discreetly with your smart phone as you sit having a coffee at Taikoo Li Starbucks. 

[Cover image via Weibo/@侃哥侃英语]

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