Planet China

Belly ache

Belly ache

It is customary for commuters to give up their seats to a pregnant woman. According to the Beijing News, a local woman named Zhang decided to take advantage of this tendency by purchasing a silicon stomach, which makes the wearer look ‘with child’. She then strapped it on while travelling to and from work, and encouraged others to give up their seat. It was a masterful deception that worked well enough until Zhang was caught out – on one trip her silicon stomach slipped off, revealing her heavily unpregnant state, and earning her derision.

You might assume that Zhang would then have slunk off in embarrassment? Not so. Instead she decided to pursue her consumer rights, complaining to the Liyuan Industrial and Commercial Bureau that the Rmb300 ($48) product was defective. The bureau gave her short shrift, telling Zhang she had not “purchased or used commodities as a consumer should for daily use”. Netizens were unimpressed too. “I can’t believe how disgraceful this woman is,” fumed one. Meanwhile the Xi’an Evening News attacked those in the business of selling the pnregancy bellies, calling it “an affront to social morality”.

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