Planet China

Metro star

A female banker in New York famously took her employer to court in 2010 after she was allegedly fired for being too good looking and too much of a distraction. Fast forward to a subway station in Guangxi where a young man has also found his job under threat because he is too handsome.

The 21 year-old graduate is a platform assistant at a metro ‘extension’ in Nanning city (the newly added part of the line only commenced operation this month). The junior staffer, however, has been grabbing a lot of attention after his photo was published and widely forwarded via social media. That led – in true Chinese internet fashion – to the individual in question being bestowed with a nickname: “Metro Xiaoxianrou” (the latter term meaning “little fresh meat”, a buzzword for attractive young men, usually associated with South Korean actors).

Hundreds of admirers were soon going out of their way to ride on the new metro line just to visit him.

But last week disappointed netizens found that Metro Xiaoxianrou had been removed from his platform duties – a post that allowed him to mingle with the public – and reposted to a tiny ticket booth. Why? His employers claimed they were afraid that their star employee would draw too much traffic to the platform causing overcrowding.

“This is so hilarious. His company has put him in a glass cage,” one internet user wrote on weibo. “He is set to become the biggest tourist attraction of Nanning,” another added, noting that fans were now seeking out his ticket booth.

His female admirers were upset at his treatment, one likening his ‘caging’ to that of an animal in a zoo. “Perhaps in a few days time the metro firm will be charging a separate entrance fee for visiting his ticket booth,” another quipped. Some did blame Metro Xiaoxianrou’s fans for threatening the young man’s job security.

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