China: Around The Nation

Superstitious Chinese investors jittery as black swan sculpture appears in Beijing financial district

Artwork installed inside entrance of upmarket shopping mall, opposite China Securities Regulatory Commission’s headquarters, removed within hours

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 November, 2016, 5:06pm
UPDATED : Monday, 28 November, 2016, 5:09pm

The sculpture of a black swan installed in an upmarket shopping mall in Beijing’s financial district next to the country’s securities watchdog was removed within hours on Monday because superstitious investors feared it might spark bad luck, mainland media reports.

The appearance of the swan sculpture in front of the headquarters of the China Securities Regulatory Commission’s headquarters triggered fevered debate on social media because a black swan is considered inauspicious for capital market investors, the news website reported.

Internet users said the bird also appeared to be looking at people entering and leaving the regulatory building in Beijing Financial Street, which was likely to make the public feel uncomfortable.

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So the Seasons Place shopping centre, which had installed the artwork outside its main hall only on Monday morning asked its staff to remove the sculpture later that afternoon.

It was unclear why the sculpture was installed inside the mall, but a poster on display in the mall suggested the expensive looking piece of art could have been intended to complement its upmarket stores.

It is not the first that the shopping mall has done something that has embarrassed its neighbour.

On May 31, in order to celebrate the following day’s International Children’s Day, the mall displayed two bears, which are the characters of a popular cartoon series, Boonie Bears, outside its main entrance.

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However, the sculptures were removed and replaced with statues of monkeys the same day with many people suggesting that officials at the securities watchdog had disliked them.

The bears, which stood close to the entrance to the regulatory office, are often linked to a bear market, in which prices are falling and investors become pessimistic, especially over a long period.

It was thought the bears would evoke memories of last year’s stock market crash.