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China: Around The Nation

Beijingers exercise collective ownership of public toilet paper

Hidden camera films mostly middle aged and elderly ‘offenders’ making multiple visits to stock up on supplies at popular Beijing tourist site

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 March, 2017, 1:14pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 March, 2017, 1:14pm

Photographs of people stealing toilet paper from public bathrooms at one of the most popular tourist destination in the Chinese capital have gone viral online, with some offenders people seen making multiple trips a day to stock up on the commodity, according to a newspaper report.

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According to the Beijing Evening News which published the photographs on Wednesday, some people deliberately visit all seven toilets in Beijing’s Temple of Heaven Park to rip off long strands of toilet paper, with some blatantly stashing in their shopping bags.

The report noted that some people made multiple visits a to collect toilet paper. The toilets were promoted by the government to tourists as “star bathrooms”.

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According to the newspaper, one middle-aged woman waited outside the toilet and stole toilet paper when no one was around. She was seen making three such visits in about 30 minutes.

The report caused a stir online, with many social internet users condemning the thefts while others poked fun at how most toilet paper thieves were middle-aged or elderly.

A Weibo user wrote, “This is quite typical of how many of the old-generation think. In their eyes, what the country owns is what the people own.”