Images of the terrible accommodations that Sochi Winter Olympics journalists have had to endure are trending on Sina Weibo.
Showing dirty canteen food, spartan hotel rooms and bathrooms with sinks that spout yellow-coloured water, the images have already gone viral on Twitter.
Western journalists have been quick to use the pictures as a platform to criticise what some have perceived as poor planning of this year’s Winter Olympics.
Chinese netizens had a slightly different take on the situation.
“After seeing these pictures, I feel like the living conditions in China aren’t so bad after all!” one Weibo commentator exclaimed, pointing out that shabby hotel rooms and poor canteen food are the norm in many underdeveloped regions of the mainland.
“They spent over 50 billion US dollars on planning these Olympics?” another netizen wrote. “I wonder where all that money went, because from the looks of things, they contracted a Chinese company to build all the hotel rooms!”
Other microbloggers were less sarcastic, and argued that difficult living conditions are the norm when travelling to foreign countries.
“Really, these people ought to adapt to other cultures, because you can’t flush toilet paper in a lot of countries in the world,” one blogger wrote in response to a tweet from Greg Wyshynski, an American sports writer who posted a picture of a Sochi hotel bathroom sign that requested guests to dispose of toilet paper in the rubbish bin.
Despite this criticism and plenty of comparisons between Sochi and China, one Weibo blogger pointed out a key difference.
“At least these people can actually use Twitter from where they are.”