Planet China

In the can

As good as gold is a common expression but for some Chinese Olympians it has rather a hollow ring. That’s not to do with a failure to win the top medal, but more because of what they received for their achievement.

In 1992 judo gold medalist Zhuang Xiaoyan and her fellow Chinese champions were given a gold can by local soft drinks company Jianlibao, then a sponsor of the Olympic team. Zhuang stored it in a bank vault. But according to China Business Morning View, she needn’t have bothered. Taking it to be valued recently, she was told that it was not actually gold at all, and was worth less than Rmb100. Zhuang is now considering “legal procedures” against Jianlibao.

Her chances of a pay-off look small. The firm’s energy drink was a top seller in the nineties but has since run into severe competition. Its former chairman Li Jingwei was also imprisoned last week for siphoning off Rmb60 million from company accounts, reports the Shanghai Daily.


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