The Chinese people have discovered a new fetish — a prank that involves stealing jewelry. The prank is said to be so popular on social media that jewelry owners are apparently increasing vigilance over their items.
Stealing jewelry prank
To make things clear, the pranksters don’t actually steal the jewelry, they just make the jewelry store staff think that they are stealing, record everything on cam, and upload the video on the Internet. The staffperson either gets immensely angry at having being fooled or finds the entire setup amusing. Either way, Chinese social media users are laughing their hearts out at the videos of such pranksters.
“The ‘jewellery-stealing’ is thought to copy the ‘shoe-stealing prank’ that was popularised by Indonesian Instagram influencer Harvinth Skin, who posted a video of himself putting on a pair of expensive trainers and the[n] sprinting out of the shop, only to turn around and sprint back in, as if he was just checking their performance,” according to The Guardian.
Prank videos are very popular on the video app Tik Tok, also known as Dou Yin in China. Most social media users are left amazed at how dedicated and swift some of the jewelry sales staff tend to be as they jump across the counters and chase after the “thief.”
“I wonder if there is a training session for how to properly jump over the counter because I would 110 percent break the glass, trip, break my neck, or all of the above,” one of the users commented on a video (Daily Mail). Some even compared the employees to ninjas.
The ‘flaunt your wealth’ challenge
Prior to the jewelry stealing prank, China was obsessed with the “flaunt your wealth” challenge. As the name suggests, the challenge is basically to show how wealthy you are. This involves posting an image while lying face down on the ground (as if you fell) and having your expensive possessions scattered all around.
The challenge became a trend pretty quickly, and rich Chinese men and women were flaunting their diamonds, Gucci bags, expensive watches, and so on. However, the challenge seemed to have irked the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which saw the display of wealth as against its “socialist values.”
The party has usually taken a strong stand against luxury items in the past. “They don’t want to promote luxury because they are worried people who cannot afford it will see the advertisements. But they don’t want to limit luxury products because it’s good for the economy. So they’re facing a dilemma,” Michael Ouyang, representative of the World Luxury Association in China, said to The Washington Post.
With the “flaunt your wealth” challenge, the CCP turned to its propaganda network and started popularizing images of workers surrounded by their tools and children surrounded by their textbooks, highlighting how such people knew what “real wealth” is.
“These pictures may seem posed, but they show that the young generation dare to express themselves… they flaunt their love and commitment for work. If everyone is hardworking at the work at hand, it will be the biggest wealth for the society,” People’s Daily, CCP’s official mouthpiece, stated (CNN).
However, the CCP’s attempt at hijacking the viral challenge was met with a lukewarm response from the society. People continued to share pics of social media users who flaunted their diamonds and high-end fashion items rather than working tools.