Don't buy, can't leave: China tourists held captive in bedding shop after refusing to buy anything

Don't buy, can't leave: China tourists held captive in bedding shop after refusing to buy anything
The 37-people tour group was allegedly trapped in the shop for several hours on March 26 as staff would not let them leave without buying something.
PHOTO: Weibo

A domestic tour group in China was left frustrated after staff at a local bedding shop refused to let them leave empty-handed.

A 53-second video posted to Weibo on March 27 showed the group of tourists from Liaoning province, China, purportedly held captive in a bedding shop in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan province.

The tour group comprising 37 persons was believed to have been held in the shop for several hours on March 26 after refusing to buy anything, the South China Morning Post reported.

In the clip, a female voice behind the camera can be heard complaining that they were not allowed to leave. 

"We arrived at noon and we're still here," said the woman.

Members of the group can be seen sitting and lying down on beds in the shop as shop staff appear to stand guard near the door.

Their tour guide had reportedly left and the shop staff kept asking them to buy items in order to leave, according to Chinese news platform NetEase.

The tourist also explained that each person had spent 3,979 yuan (S$759) to join the group tour managed by Liaoning Youde International Travel Service but they had not gone sightseeing at all, South China Morning Post reported.

"I hadn't expected that all of our activities in Xishuangbanna would be about shopping," she said.

The video, which garnered over 78,000 views, caught the attention of local authorities and led to an official probe, reported NetEase

According to the Xishuangbanna Market Supervision and Administration Bureau, which posted a statement on its official WeChat account on March 27, the shop in question is owned by a company by the name of Taisi Dika Sleep Technology. A local travel agency, Faxian Zhilv, was conducting the group tour on behalf of Youde Travel Service.

The bureau also stated that Taisi Dika Sleep Technology was ordered to cease operations and the tour guide from Faxian Zhilv, who did not have a licence, was fined 10,000 yuan (S$1,908).

Further investigations are ongoing, the bureau added.

'It's outrageous to detain people'

The viral video sparked anger amongst many Chinese netizens and reignited fears over forced tourist shopping in China, South China Morning Post reported.

"This is evil. You can recommend things through the tour guide and do business honestly. If the price is right and the products are good, I believe many people will buy them. It's outrageous to detain people," said one Weibo commenter.

Another netizen said: "The staff is bold to do this, do they want [to get in] trouble?"

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